|Publication number||US3519978 A|
|Publication date||Jul 7, 1970|
|Filing date||Sep 15, 1967|
|Priority date||Sep 15, 1967|
|Publication number||US 3519978 A, US 3519978A, US-A-3519978, US3519978 A, US3519978A|
|Inventors||Taormina Anthony J, Witek Roman J Jr|
|Original Assignee||Essex International Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (25), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
y 1970 A. J. TAORMINA E L commcwon conswnuc'rxon Filed Sept. 15, 1967 W S M T T Nm w W N IYN M R yr V DD NH 3 WIN 9 m 6 7 8 8% 7 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,519,978 CONNECTOR CONSTRUCTION Anthony J. Taormina, Detroit, and Roman J. Witek, Jr., Romulus, Mich., assignors to Essex International, Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., a corporation of Michigan Filed Sept. 15, 1967, Ser. No. 668,106 Int. Cl. H01r 11/02, 13/50; Hk 7/00 US. Cl. 33959 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A terminal housing having a unitary body consisting of two flat, plate shaped sections held together by flexible hinge. A number of passageways, which pass through the plate sections and are connected to channels on inner mating surfaces of the sections, provide pathways for wire leads and terminals. The sections are fitted over thewire leads and terminals. Bosses on one section interlock with ribs on the adjacent section to maintain the sections in engagement with the wire leads and terminals. The terminal housing is especially useful as a component in automobile electrical systems.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an improved terminal housing for positioning a plurality of terminals and their associated wires in a protective and precisely defined location.
In an automobile there are various locations where a number of wires and their end terminals necessarily terminate at a control panel or the like. In such cases, it is preferable to have an arrangement which permits the uniform positioning of wires in a stable, insulated configuration. This is desirable to facilitate the proper interconnection of the wires with switches and other devices. In addition, the neat arrangement of the wires promotes the efficiency and ease of manufacture of the device or product with which the wires are associated.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a principal aspect the present invention of an improved terminal connector device comprises a unitary body formed of two substantially plate like sections which are joined to one another by a flexible hinge member which is integrally fabricated with the two sections. The two sections are adapted to mate with one another and include a plurality of channels defined on the inner sulfaces of each mating section which connect to passageways passing through the sections and perpendicular to the inner mating surfaces. Wires and wired terminal receptacles fit into the channels and their associated passageways. The two sections can then be locked together to hold the wires and terminal receptacles in a secure position. External pin connectors may be inserted into the terminal receptacles held in the terminal connector device.
It is thus an object of the present invention to provide an improved connector construction.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved connector construction which may be economically manufactured and easily installed and used.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a flexible connector construction of simplified design and improved reliability.
These and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will be more fully set forth in the detailed description which follows.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the detailed description which follows, reference will be made to the drawing which includes the following figures:
3,519,978 Patented July 7, 1970 'ice FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention prior to mating of two sections;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 in a closed position;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the inner surfaces of the embodiment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a side view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a side view of the first preferred embodiment in the closed position and illustrates the interlocking boss and rib arrangement;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment;
FIG. 7 is a top plan view in the closed position of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view taken substantially along the line 88 of FIG. 7 and illustrates the interlocking boss arrangement.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. 1 through 5 illustrate a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The terminal housing, generally shown at 10, is comprised of an upper plate section 12 and a lower plate section 14. The upper section 12 and the lower section 14 are connected to one another by a plurality of three flexible hinges 16 through 18. The entire housing 10 is fabricated from an insulating, noncorrosive, flexible material such as nylon. Preferably the housing 10, including the hinge members 16 through 18, is integrally cast to form a single body unit.
The upper section 12 has an inner surface 20. Similarly the lower section 14 has an inner surface 22. When the housing 10 is in an assembled position, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the inner surfaces 20 and 22 are adjacent or mate against one another. When the inner surfaces 20 and 22 are adjacent one another, it is evident that the various channels and passageways, to be described more fully below, are mirror images of one another along the plane defined by the adjacent inner surfaces 20 and 22. FIG. 3 is a plan view of the inner surfaces 20 and 22 and illustrates that the inner surfaces 20 and 22 are substantially mirror images of one another.
As shown in FIG. 3 the sections 12 and 14 have a plu rality of passageways 24 through 35 and 36 through 45 respectively passing therethrough. The passageways 24 through 35 and 36 through 45 are perpendicular to the inner surfaces 20 and 22 respectively. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the passageways 36 through 45 in section 22 pass partially through the section 14 from the inner surface 22; whereas, the passageways 24 through 35 pass completely through section 12.
Referring again to FIG. 3, connected with selected passageways 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 34, 37, 39, 40, 42, 43 and 46 are channels 50 through 55 and 56 through 61 defined in surfaces 20 and 22 respectively. The channels 50 through 61 terminate on the side of the sections 12 and 14 opposite the hinges 16, 17 and 18. Also defined in the surface 20 of the section 12 are depressions 63 and 66. And included with the upper section 12 are rib members 64 and 65 extending across recesses 67 and 69. The rib members 64 and 65 are opposite the hinges 16, 17 and 18. Coincidently positioned with the rib members 64 and 65 and the depressions 63 and 66 and adapted to mate when the connector is closed are the bosses 70 and 71 and the nubs or protrusions 68 and 73 extending from the surface 22 of the lower section 14.
As illustrated in FIG. 5 the bass 79 fits through the recess 67 and interlocks with the rib 64 when the inner surfaces 20 and 22 of the upper lower sections 12 and 14 are mated with one another. In practice, as illustrated in FIG. 1, a wire 72 with a pin receptacle 74 is inserted into a channel such as 59 in the lower section 14. The terminal housing is then closed and locked into position about the wire 72 and pin receptacle 74 as illustrated in FIG. 2. The bosses 70 and 71 then interlock with their respective rib members 64 to 65 to hold the housing in a secure relationship with the wire 72 and receptacle 74. The terminal housing 10 may then easily be held in position on a panel board, for example by passing screws or other fastening means through passageways not occupied by terminal receptacles or through slots such as illustrated at 46- through 49 in FIG. 1.
FIGS. 6 through 8 illustrate a second preferred embodiment of the invention. In the second preferred embodiment the configuration of an upper 76 and a lower 78 section have been somewhat altered. Nonetheless salient features of the combinations of passageways and channels remain. Analogously, there is a protrusion 80 on the lower section 78 which mates with a depression 82 in the upper section 76. The flexible hinges 84 and 85 provide for a unitary construction of the terminal housing illustrated in FIGS. 6- through 8.
The boss and rib construction of the embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 6 is a slight variation over that illustrated for the first preferred embodiment. The bosses 88 and 89 are again an integral part of the lower section 78. They include a central hollow section as at 92 on boss 88 which is adapted to engage a rib member at 93 on the upper section 76.
FIG. 7 is a top view illustrating the manner in which the upper section 76 and lower section 78 cooperate and fit with one another. In FIG. 8, a section along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7, there is illustrated the manner in which rib member 94 fits with the boss 89. In addition there is shown the manner in which the boss 88 engages rib 93 defined on the upper section 76.
As with the first preferred embodiment, to assemble the terminal housings of the second preferred embodiment, the wires and terminal pin receptacles are merely inserted into the channels and the upper section is snapped into engagement with the lower section. The sections are held together through the interaction of the bosses and rib members. To remove any of the wires, the reverse sequence is followed.
It is to be understood that all those embodiments obvious to persons skilled in the art and all those embodiments which are equivalent to the presently claimed invention are to be included within the scope of the claimed invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A terminal housing integrally fabricated from a flexible insulating, non-corrosive material comprising, in combination, substantially mirror image, fiat, generally planar halves, each half having an inner and an outer surface, said halves fiexibly connected by integral resilient means such that said inner surfaces may be mated face to face, separate channels in each defined in the inner surface, each of said channels extending to one edge of said half and spaced from each of the other channels in said half such that a conducting wire is snuggly held in said channels as designated when said halves are mated face to face, one end of each channel connected with a passageway through said halves substantially normal to said channel for receiving, as desired, a contact receptacle connected with a conducting wire in said channel, said contact receptacle formed to engage with a contact laterally of the wire, and fastening means for holding said halves in locked engagement with their inner surfaces face to face in a substantially immovable relationship.
2. The housing of claim 1 wherein said integral resilient means comprise at least two separate spaced hinge members along a side of said housing which hinge members form a smoothly contoured connection with the outer surface of said halves.
3. The housing of claim 1 including at least one pair of matched notches on the outside edge of said halves for receiving means for fastening said housing to a surface.
4. The terminal housing of claim 1 including projections from said inner surface of said first section and depressions in said inner surface of said second section, said projections being mated with said depressions to guide said first section into proper alignment and engagement with said second section.
5. The terminal housing of claim 1 including additional passageways therethrough for cooperation with means for fastening said housings to a panel.
6. The terminal housing of claim 1 wherein said fastening means comprise bosses integral with an edge of said first section and rib members integral with an edge of said second section, said ribbed members adapted to be engaged by said bosses.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,537,160 5/1925 Diehl 339206 X 1,635,312 7/1927 Diehl 339-196 X 2,089,856 8/1937 Reynolds 339-164 X 3,273,105 9/1966 Klassen 339210 X 3,332,053 7/1967 Busler 339-59 X FOREIGN PATENTS 233,059 3/ 1961 Australia.
RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 339192, 208
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|U.S. Classification||439/596, 439/688, 439/685, 439/466|