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Publication numberUS3547274 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 15, 1970
Filing dateApr 25, 1968
Priority dateApr 25, 1968
Publication numberUS 3547274 A, US 3547274A, US-A-3547274, US3547274 A, US3547274A
InventorsSosinkski Charles William
Original AssigneeThomas & Betts Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Module mounting system
US 3547274 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Charles William Sosinkski Linden,N.J. [21] AppLNo. 724,033 [22] Filed April25, 1968 [45] Patented Dec. 15,1970 [73] Assignee Thomas & Betts Corporation Elizabeth, NJ. a corporation of New Jersey [54] MODULE MOUNTING SYSTEM 20 Claims, 12 Drawing Figs. [52] U.S.Cl 211/89, 211/26,248/314, 317/99, 339/198 [51] lnt.Cl A47f5/08, A47f 7/00 [50] FieldofSearch 2l1/89,88, 13.26:248/314,3l0,361TF:339/198Gl,91; 317/99: 287/119:85/36,5:24/217,214

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,627,385 2/1953 Tinnerman 248/361(TF) 3,197,167 7/1965 Sturgis 248/314 3,388,885 6/1968 Holmes.... 248/310 1,297,435 3/1919 Beck 248/310 2,342,832 2/1944 Borchers.. 24/217X 2,653,686 9/1953 Routt 24/217X FOREIGN PATENTS 62,250 11/1913 Austria 339/198(Gl) 287,435 7/1931 ltaly 339/198(G1) 1,206,354 8/1959 France 339/198(Gl Primary Examiner Ramon S. Britts Attorney-David Teschner ABSTRACT: A module mounting system which permits the individual insertion, or removal, of modules mounted in a rack containing a plurality of such modules. The mounting system comprises a mounting rail of a generally U-shape surrounding the sides and back but leaving exposed the front face of the module. Mounted along the inside surface of the mounting rail, adjacent the sides of the modules are placed, at discrete positions, a plurality of flexure members which face inwardly and downwardly with respect to the center line of the mounting rail. The modules have formed in their adjacent sides steps to receive in locking engagement the flexure members of the mounting rail. The insertion of the modules within the mounting rail will cause a deflection of the flexure members outwardly and downwardly until such time as the step passes the free ends of the flexure members, at which time the flexure members will be allowed to return to their initial position inwardly, lockably engaging with the steps of the modules. To assure proper seating of the module and to insure contact between the flexure members and the step of the module, further flexure members are arranged in the bottom portion of the mounting rail, adjacent the bottom of the module, or in the sidewalls, which will tend to assure the locking engagement between the first flexure members and the module.

PATENTEUBEBISIQIG 3547;274

sum 1 or 3 INVILN'IUR. CHARLES W. SOSINSKI ATTORNEY PATENTED DEC 1 5 I970 SHEEI 2 UF 3 A T TORNE Y PATENIED am 5 I976 SHEET 3 IF 3 CHARLES W SOSINSKI BY ATTORNEY MODULE MOUNTING SYSTEM CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention is directed tothe field of rack or rail mounting of component modules which either contain components of an electronic system or which contain the interconnection modules for-couplingtogether one or more of a plurality of individual conductors.

2'. Description of the Prior Art Modular mounting systems as are presently known in the prior art employ either two U-shaped channelsto support, and mount, individual modules or a single large U-shaped support member. In the former arrangement, that of the two shallow U-shaped channels, a first of these channels is arranged to fit at the bottom of the module with the straight portions of the U engaging portions of the back and front faces of the module. A number of modules are arranged along this lower rail and a similar top rail is then placed atop the modules. Mounting blocks are then inserted at the ends of the two rails in order to hold the rails in engagement with the modules and to facilitate the mounting of the entire module support system. To prevent bowing of the support rails, which would permit the unwanted removal or falling out of the modules, it is necessary to put additional support blocks alongthelengt h ofthe support rails. The removal or insertion of individual ones of the modules within the support system is made difficult because of the presence of the overhanging lips which engage the front and rear faces of the modules themselves and the mounting hardware. It is necessary, in order to remove individual modules, or to insert modules after the rails have been assembled, to remove the rail entirely from the mounting surface, remove one end block and perhaps one or more of the intermediate support blocks and then slide the modules free of the end of the rails. All service, which the modules on the rail would provide, is disrupted during the time that modules are inserted or replaced.

The further approach to the mounting of individual modules is the use of a U-shaped channel which surrounds the sides and back surfaces of .the module and has overhanging lips which seize the front face of the module. The modules are supported, and positioned within the rails, by means of end blocks which are also used to fasten the rail to a mounting surface. In order to minimize-the-amount of block removal and disruption of service, slots are placed along the overhanging front edges at various positions along them so that only one or more of the adjacent modules will have to be disturbed in order to remove any desired module. However. due to high packing density it may also be necessary to remove the rail from a mounting sur- SUMMARY OF THE lNVENTlON The present invention seeks to overcome the difiiculties noted above with respect to prior art devices by providing'a module mounting system which mounts and supports the modules and which permits the easy insertion and removal of a single module, or any number of modules, without disturbing the adjacent modules and without requiring that that the entire mounting system be removed from a mounting surface. This is accomplished by providing a U-channeled rail which supports and which surrounds the sides of the module as well as the back and which provides no overhanging edges to block the front of the module. First flexure members are provided along the sides ofthe mounting rails, adjacent the sides of the module, which flexure members generally extend inwardly and downwardly towards the back of the module. The complementary side surfaces of the module have outwardly extending lips, or steps, to permit locking engagement between the step of the module and the free end of the flexure members. In order to increase the locking engagement of the first flexure members with the steps on the sides of the module, second flexure members are mounted adjacent the bottom portion of the mounting rail, adjacent the back portion of the module, to

urge the modules upwardly towards the open front face, thus increasing the locking engagement between the free ends of the first flexure members and the steps of the module. Additionally, these second flexure members adjacent the bottom of the rail permit the easy ejection of the module when the first flexure members have been disengaged from the steps of the module for facilitating their removal. End blocks, which fit at both ends of the rails, are arranged to engage either with the second flexure members adjacent the bottom of the rail or the first flexure members at the sides of the rail for locking engagement therewith. Various apertures are'provided through the ends of the rail, as well as through end blocks, to facilitate the mounting, in various positions of the modular mounting system, with respect to a mounting surface. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved form of module mounting system.

it is still another object of this invention to provide an improved form of module mounting system which permits the removal, or insertion, of individual modules within a module mounting system without disturbing adjacent modules.

it is yet another object of this invention to provide an improved module mounting system which permits the insertion and removal of individual modules without requiring disassembly of the entire module mounting system.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a module mounting system wherein individual modules, within the mounting system, are individually lockably engageable with flexure members of the mounting rail in such a manner that they may be individually inserted and removed therefrom.

It is still another object of this invention to provide an improved form of module mounting system wherein additional flexure members are provided to insure pro'per engagement between the locking flexure members and the individual modules and to facilitate removal of modules upon the disengagement of the locking flexure members.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide an improved module mounting system wherein flexure members are provided which permit the easy insertion and locking of end blocks to complete the module mounting system.

It is still another object of this invention to provide an improved module mounting system which employs the module locking flexure members toengage locking end blocks to complete the module mounting system.

It is still another object of this invention to provide an improved module mounting system which permits the fabrication of the mounting rail and all necessary locking flexure members as a single unitary structure.

It is still another object of this invention to provide an improved module mounting system wherein the shape of the 'r'nodules themselves provides for engagement with locking f-flexure members of the mounting rail and which facilitates the j 'easy insertion, and removal, of the individual modules by "providing channels for the acceptance of removal and inserf'tion tools. Other objects and features of the invention will be pointed out in the following-description and claims and illustrated in Tithe accompanying drawings, which disclose, by way of examthe principles of the invention and the best modes which jihave been contemplated for carrying them out.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING "In the Drawings:

,FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a module mounting system "'th modules installed," constructed in accordance with the cepts of the invention.

l; FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a lj'r' ryodule constructed in accordance with theconcepts of the in- -Y:ention.'

":qFIG. 3 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of an end block constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention. i

,FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a portion of a further emblodiment of a mounting rail constructed in accordance with t the concepts of the invention.

ffFIG. 5' isa perspective view of a portion of a further emtbodiment of amounting rail constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

L FIG. 6' is a perspective view of a portion of a further emodiment of a mounting rail constructed in accordance with concepts of the'invention. I

I65. 7, and 9 are perspective views of portions of further duleconstructions in accordance with the concepts of the ention..

' IG. -l0 is a perspective of a portion of an additional emibodiment of a mounting rail constructed in accordance with e concepts of the invention. 1 I

. IO. 11 is a perspective view of a further module embodi- :m ntfconstructd inaccordance withthe conceptsof the in- Q FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an end block showing an aliternative construction and embodying principals of the invention. f

(Similar elements will be given similar reference characters iinseach of the respective figures.

iiDESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Turning now to FIG. 1 thereis shown a module mounting system constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention. Module mounting system 20 consists of a mounting rail 22 in which may be positioned a plurality of modules 24. unting rail 22 consists of two parallel upward side members and 28, each of which hasa dovetailedslot such as 30 placed thereinfDovetailed slots 30 will extend the full length of the rail sides 26 and 28. Positioned in the dovetailed slots 30are flexure support members such as 32 (only the left one is visible in FIG, 1). Positioned along the flexure support membets 32 are a plurality of flexure members 34. Flexure members 34 may be bifurcated as shown at 36 or may be unitary as will be described below. p

Module 24, as is better seen in FIG. 2, has a front face 38 in. which may be placed a number of connectorsor whereupon which may be mounted a plurality of components. In each of thesidewalls 40 are placed steps 42 for engagement with the free ends 35 of the flexure members 34. Leading into the step 42'is a channel 44 whose sidewalls define a mating relationship with the sides of the flexure members 34. When positioned within the channel 44, the side edges of the flexure iii embers 34 will engage with the sidewalls of the channel 44 aiid prevent the rocking or longitudinal displacement of the iitodules 24 with respect to the mounting rail 22. Commur'iicating with the channel 44 is a further channel 46 for the acceptance thereof of a tool for the insertion or removal of modules 24 from the mounting rail 22. The tool may be a screw driver or similar flat object, not shownherein, or may be the module extraction tools described and claimed in copending application Ser. No. 731,671 filed Apr. 26, 1968 by Charles W. Sosinski.

The edges between the bottom surface 48 of the module 24 and the sidewalls 40 are inclined or chamfered as at 50. When inserting the module 24 within the mounting rail 22, the chamfered edges 50 will tend to flex the flexure member 34 outwardly towards the sidewalls 26 and 28 thus facilitating the insertion of the module 24 within the mounting rail 22. In their normal position, as shown in FIG. 1, the flexure members 34 will extend inwardly and downwardly, thus the free ends 35 normally impede the movement of the module 24 into the mounting rail 22. However, as the chamfered edges 50, of the module 24, contact the flexure members 34 the free ends 35 will be deflected downwardly and outwardly to permit passage of the module 24 into the mounting rail 22. Once the step 42 of the module 24 has passed the free ends 35 of the flexure members 34, they will be permitted to return towardstheir initial position, that is downwardly and inwardly positioned as is shown in FIG. 1 and will engage the step 42 thus preventing the removal of the module 24 from the mounting rail 22. Further, as is stated above, the side edges of flexure members 34 engaging the sidewalls of the channel 44, will prevent the modules 24 from being displaced longitudinally along the rails 22. In addition, the close spacing between the modules 24 and the mounting rail 22 will prevent the module 24 from being longitudinally displaced as well and in addition prevent axial displacement. In order to remove a module 24 from the mounting rail 22 an appropriate tool, as set out above, may be inserted along the channel 44 to deflect the free ends 35 of the flexure members 34 free of the module step 42. Channel 46 extends through step 42 from channel 44 tothe module bottom 48.

To better insure the locking engagement between the free ends 35 of the flexure members 34 and the step 42 of the module 24, additional flexure members 52 are provided on a separate support 54 positioned in the dovetailed slot 56 in the base 58 of the mounting rail 22. These additional flexure members are arranged in pairs as is shown at 52a and 52b having their free ends facing in opposite directions. These additional flexure members 52 will exert an upward force on the bottom surface 48 of the module 24 causing the module 24 to be held against the free ends 35 of the flexure members 34. In this manner, variances in the dimensions or sizes of the modules 24, or in the size and shape of the flexure member 34, can be accommodated. Further, the flexure members 52 provide an upward force to permit easy removal of the modules 24 once the flexure members 34 have been deflected from their contact with steps 42 of the module 24. Such action will tend to cause the popup of the individual modules 24 and make their removal simple.

In order to complete the assembly of the modules 24 within the mounting rail 22 and to insure that the modules will not be removed from the ends of the rail 22 and also to facilitate the mounting of the module mounting system 20 to a mounting surface, end blocks 60, as is shown in FIG. 3, are employed. End blocks 60, having male protruding dovetail members 62v which will fit within the dovetail slot 30 of the mounting rail 22, prevents its movement through the open face of the mounting rail 22. In addition, a pair of complementary slots 64 are provided in the bottom surface 66 of the mounting block 60 to engage with the flexure members 52 in the bottom surface 58 of the mounting rail 22. Slots 64, only one of which is visible in FIG. 3, extends for only a portion of the overall width of the block 60. A similar. slot 64 extends from the back edge partially through the bottom surface and complementary with the visible slot 64. The slots 64 of end blocks 60, when positioned within the end of the mounting rail 22, will lockwith the flexure members 52:: and 52b to prevent its removal from the mounting rail 22. A plurality of mounting apertures are provided in the sides of the end block 60 to accommodate mounting bolts for mounting a rail 22 when assembled. The apertures 68 are within recessed areas 74 of the sidewalls of the end block 60 so that the heads of thefastening devices (not shown) may be received therein without interfering with the operation of the mounting system 20. A. larger sized aperture 72 is provided in the top face of the end blocks 60 to permit movement of the head of a fastening device therethrough to engage a further aperture 70 in the bottom surface of the end block 60. Apertures 76. are placed on the sidewalls 26 and 28 of the mounting rail 22 for receipt therein of fastening devices. The apertures 76 are also large enough so that the heads of the fastening devices will pass therethrough. For example, if it is desired to mount the module mounting system with the faces 38 of the modules 24, visible from the front, a fastening device will be passed through the aperture 72, the aperture 70', both in the end block 60'and'through a further aperture 78 extending through the bottom 58 of the mounting rail 22. The head of the fastening device will abut the inside surface of the bottom wall of the end block 60 thus permitting the fastening of system 20 to a mounting surface (not shown). If it is desired to mount the system 20 with the faces 38 of the modules 24 in an upright position, a fastening device will be passed through the aperture 76 in the sidewall 28 of the rail 22 and through the aperture 68 in the recess 74 on the left-hand side of the end block 60 and the head .of such fastening device will engage the inner surface of that recess and the remainder of the fastening device will pass through'the aperture 68 on the right-hand side of the block 60 and thence through the aperture 76in the wall 26 of the mounting rail 22 to a mounting surface (not shown). In each instance the head of the fastening device will not interfere, or extend, beyond the mounting rail 22.

Turning now to FIG. 4 there is shown an alternative construction of a mounting rail 80 constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention. Rail 80 has flexure members 34 fabricated directly from the sidewalls 26f and 28. Thus there is removed the need for separate support members 32 containing flexure members 34, as shown in FIG. 1. Additionally, the flexure members 52' have been directlyt fabricated from the material of the rail 80 thus removing the necessity for separate flexure members 52 and 'a support 54 as in FIG. 1. It should be noted that the free ends of the flexuremembers 52a and 52b.

face in the same direction and that the flexure members 34' extend almost to the end of the rail 80'. A different type of end block, which will be discussed below, will be employed with such rails thus eliminating the necessity for the'free ends of the flexure members 520' and 52b from facing in opposite directions as is true of flexure elements 52a and 52b of FIG. 1. A single mounting slot 78' is shown for the receipt of a fastening device for mounting the rail 80 to a mounting surface.

Referring now to FIG. 5, another alternative arrangement of a mounting rail 22 of FIG. 1 is shown. In this arrangement, rail 90 is constructed with dovetail slots 30,'as shown in FIG. 1. Only the left dovetail slot 30 is visible in FIG. 5. The support member 32 is placed within the dovetailed slot and a plurality of flexure members 92 are punched therefrom. It should be noted that the flexure members 92 are not bifurcated as at 36 in FIG. I, but rather are unitary members. Flexure members 94, which take the place of flexure members 52 of FIG. 1, are fabricated from the same support 32- thus eliminating the necessity for additional supports 54 and flexure members 52 as in FIG. 1. It should also be noted that theflexure members 92 and 94 extend almost to the end of the rail 90 and will employ an end block as will be described below.

Turning now to FIG. 6 another alternative arrangement of the flexure members within a mounting rail 22 is shown. Flexure members 96 are somewhat narrower than the flexure members 92 as shown in FIG. 5 and the bifurcated flexure member 34 of FIG. 1. Flexure members, such as 96, permits the use of a greater. number of modules 24 than might be possible with greater width' flexure members such as 34.

Turning now to FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 there are shown alternative constructions of the module sidewalls with steps to accommodate the flexure members such as 34 of FIG. 1. Module 100 of FIG. 7 has a step 102 at the bottom of a channel 104 and dual channels 106 extending about the step 102 to thebottom of the module 100. This arrangement would-accommodate a bifurcated tool for the removal of module 100 from its mount ing rail. In FIG. 8 module 110 has a step 112 which extends across the entire width of the module 110 and there are no complementary channels for accepting the tool as is true of the module of FIG. 2. Instead the entire area, above the step 112, is free to receive the tool for release of the flexure A member. In FIG. 9, module has a completely relieved sidewall and a step 122, protruding therefrom. In this arrangement maximum clearance is provided for tools employed to remove the module 120 from its mounting rail. Again, the arrangement of FIG. 9 permits the use of a bifurcated tool for its removal.

Turning now 'to FIGS. 10 and 11, there is shown an alternative arrangement of the mounting rail and module 132 wherein only a single sidewall of the mounting rail 130 contains flexure members to restrain the module 130 in position. Interlocking tabs on the other wall insure the integrity of the connection between the module 132 and the rail 130. Sidewall 134 of the rail 130 has a dovetail slot 30 that receives therein a flexure member support 32. A pluralityofflexure members 92 are punched from the support 32 to accommodate individual modules 132. An additional dovetail slot 56, in the rail 130 bottom, receives support 54. Punched from the support 54 are a plurality of flexure members 136 arranged to bridge the rail 130 and arrange for a one to one relationship between the flexure members 136 and the module 132. In a similar fashion, if desired, similar bow-type flexure members may be employed in mounting rail 80 of FIG. 4. Sidewall 140 of the rail 130 is somewhat shorter than the opposite sidewall 134 and provides an inwardly extending rib 142. A clearance groove 144 is created between the bottom wall 58 of the rail 130 and the inwardly extending rib 142. The module 132, having a first sidewall 146, similar in construction to that shown with respect to the module 24 of FIG. 2 has a'modified second sidewall 148. Second sidewall 148 has an outwardly extending rib 150 proportioned such as to fit withinthe groove 144 permitting the upper surface of the rib I50 toengage with the inwardly extending rib 142 of the rail 130. In order to position the module 132 within the rail 130 the rib 150 is positioned downwardly to extend partially within the groove 144 and a generally downward rotating action will cause the engagement of the sidewall 146 with the flexure members 92 in a manner described above with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. The removal of this module is accomplished by the release of the flexure member 92 and the upward rotation and movement of the module 132 out of contact with the sidewall 140.

Turning now to FIG. 12 there is shown an alternative construction of an end block 160. End block will be employed with those rail arrangements such as FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 10 wherein the flexure members on the sidewall of the mounting rails extend almost to the end thereof. ln this arrangement the sidewalls 162 and 164 of the end block 160, are fabricated in the manner described with reference to sidewall 40 of the module 24 of FIG. 2. End wall 166 sealsthe ends of the mounting rail when the block 160 is positioned. The block 160 will be held in position by means of theflexure members in the manner described with respect to the locking of the module 24 within the mounting rail 22 of FIGS. 1 and 2. Under this arrangement mounting of the module mounting system is only permitted with the face of the module facing forwardly. This is accomplished by means of a countersunk mounting aperture 168 which permits the passage of a fastening device through the aperture 168 and thence to a complementary aperture such as 78 of FIG. 1 into the mounting surface. The countersinking of the aperture 168 will permit the head of the fastening device to be mounted below the surface of the end block 160 and thus will not interfere with operations about the mounting system. If desired, additional apertures may be f placed through the block 160 from the end faces 162 and 164 f and a bifurcated flexure member such as 34, in FIG. 1, may be employed. The fastening device will then pass through the bifurcated flexure member and thence to the apertures in the 'end block 160 and then into the mounting surface.

While there have been shown and described and pointed fout the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that vari- 'ous omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and 'details of the devices illustrated and in their operation may be "lmade by thoseskilled in the art, without departing from the "spirit of the invention. f lclaim: 7"] 1. -A module mounting system comprising: a mounting rnember comprising a base member; a first sidewall and a "second sidewall each being of a first predetermined thickness; lgsjaid first and second sidewalls coupled to said base member lforming a generally U-shaped channel with said first and ffsecond sidewalls being substantially parallel to each other; {first flexure means of a second predetermined thickness less :than said first predetermined thickness; said first flexure means coupled to at least one of the said first and second islidewalls; said first flexure means having a free end extending gfreje end of said first flexure means in locking engagement; the

,;generally downward insertion of said module through the [open end of said mounting member'causing the outward flexa e of said first flexure means until said step in said module side face passes the free end of said first flexure means wherein the free end of said first flexure means returns ,towards its original" position engaging in locking relationship lsaid step preventing the unwanted withdrawal of said module i'from said mounting member; and second flexure means coupled to said base member for urging modules placed in said mounting member upward towards the ,open end of said .mounting-member.

1 1-2. A module mounting system, as defined in claim 1, wherein said second flexure means comprises a plurality of leaffsprings extending along said base member.

"YSJA module mounting system, as defined in Claim 1, wherein said second flexure means comprises a plurality of cantilevered flat springs extending along said base member; *each of said flat springs having a free end.

,4. A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 1, wherein said second flexure means comprises a plurality of ipairs of cantilevered fiat springs extending along said base member; one of said pairs for each associated module; each of said flat springs having a free end.

A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 4, wherein the free ends of the flat springs of each pair face in "opposite directions.

=6; A module mounting-system, as defined in Claim 1, wherein said first flexure means is bifurcated.

'7. A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 1, 'wherein first fle'xure means are coupled to. both said first and *s'econd sidewalls.

8. A modular mounting system, as defined in Claim 1, -"wherein the step in said first or second side faces of said module extend for only a portion of the face width. i

9; A modular mounting system, as defined in Claim 7, f'where'in both of said first and second side faces of said module have steps. I

{10; A modular mounting system, as defined in Claim 9, wherein both of said first and second side faces of said module have channels communicating with said steps whereby the sides of said first flexure means each engages at least a portion of the walls of one channel to prevent movementof said module along said mounting member length. i

11. A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 1 wherein one of said first and second sidewalls has an inwardly facing rib coupled thereto adjacent the endthereof at the open end of said mounting member, said rib restricting movement of said module into and out of said mounting member.

12. A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 11, wherein said module has an outwardly extending rib on one of said first and second side faces; said outwardly extending rib engaging with said inwardly facing rib on said mounting member wherebyremoval of said module is prevented by the engagement of said outwardly extending rib with said inwardly facing rib and said first flexure member with said step of said module.

13. A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 1, further comprising end members to close the ends of said mounting member along its length; said end members having apertures therein for the receipt of mounting elements whereby the entire module mounting system may be mounted upon a surface.

14. A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 7, further comprising end members to close the ends of said mounting members along its length; said end members comprising first and second parallel faces; a step in each face; a channel in each face communicating with said step and a plurality of apertures therein for receipt therein of fastening devices to fasten the module mounting system to a mounting surface; said end members being locked to said mounting member when inserted through the open end of said mounting member by the free ends of said first flexure means engaging said steps.

15. A module mounting system comprising: a mounting member comprising a base member; a first sidewall and a second sidewall coupled to said base member forming a generally U-shaped channel; first flexure means coupled to at least one of said first and second sidewall said first flexure means having a free end extending downwardly towards said base member and inwardly towards said other sidewall; a module proportioned to fit within said mounting member; said module comprising a base face positionable adjacent said base member; first and second side faces positionable adjacent said sidewalls; a step in at least one of saidfirst and second faces positionable adjacent the free end of said first flexure means; said step being engaged by the free end of said first flexure means in locking engagement; the generally downward insertion of said module through the open end of said mounting member causing the outward flexure of said first flexure means until said step in said module side face passes the free end of said first flexure means wherein the free end of said first flexure means returns towards its original position engaging in locking relationship said step preventing the unwanted withdrawal of said module from said mounting member; said mounting member further comprises second flexure means coupled to at least one of said first and second sidewalls for urging modules placed in said mounting member upwards towards the open end of said mounting member.

16. A module mounting system comprising: a mounting member comprising a base member; a first sidewall and a second sidewall coupled to said base member forming a generally U-shaped channel; first fiexure means coupled to at least one of said first and second sidewalls; said first flexure means having a free end extending downwardly towards said base member and inwardly towards said other sidewall; a

module proportioned to fit within said mounting member; said module comprising a base face positionable adjacent said base member; first and second side faces positionable adjacent said sidewalls; and a step in at least one of said first and second faces positionable adjacent the free-end of said first flexure means; said step being engaged by the free end of said first flexure means in locking engagement; the generally downward insertion of said module through the open end of said mounting member causing the outward flexure of said first flexure means until said step in said module side face passes the free end of said first flexure means wherein the free end of said first flexure means returns towards its original position engaging in locking relationship said step preventing the unwanted withdrawal of said module from said mounting member; at least one of said first and second sidewalls contains a dovetail slot along its length and said first flexure means comprises a plurality of individual cantilevered flat springs at least one for each module to be accommodated by said mounting member, said flat springs being coupled to a support member; said support member being coupled to said first and second sidewalls by placement in said dovetail slot.

17. A module mounting system comprising: a mounting member comprising a base member; a first sidewall and a second sidewall coupled to said base member forming a generally U-shaped channel; first flexure means coupled to at least one of said first and second sidewalls; said first flexure means having a free end extending downwardly towards said base member and inwardly towards said other sidewall; a module proportioned to fit within said mounting member; said module comprising a base face positionable adjacent said base member; first and second side faces positionable adjacent said sidewalls; and a step in at least one of said first and second faces positionable adjacent the free end of said first flexure means; said step being engaged by the free end of said first flexure means in locking engagement; the generally downward insertion of said module through the open end of said mounting member causing the outward flexure of said first flexure means until said step in said module side face passes the free end of said first flexure means wherein the free end of said first flexure-means returns towards its original position engaging in locking relationshipv said step preventing the unwanted withdrawal of said module from said mounting member; both of said first and second sidewalls contains a dovetail slot along its length and said first flexure means comprises a plurality of individual cantilevered flat springs, at least one pair for each module to be accommodated by said mounting member; said flat springs being coupled to two support members; one flat spring of each pair being coupled to each of said support members; said support member being coupled to said first and second sidewalls by placement in said dovetail slots whereby the flat springs of each pair engage the same module on said first and second side faces thereof.

18. A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 17, further comprising second flexure means coupled to said base member; at least one of said pairs for each associated module;

each of said flat springs having a free end; the free ends of the flat springs making up each pair facing in opposite direction.

19 A module mounting system, as defined in Claim 18, further comprising end members to close the ends of said mounting members along its length; each of said end members comprising first and second parallel faces arranged to be positioned adjacent said first and second sidewalls of said mounting member; first and second protruding male dovetails on each of said first and second parallel faces; said protruding male dovetails engaging the walls of said dovetail slots; slots in the base of said end members for locking engagement with one of said flat spring pairs to retain said end member when positioned adjacent an end of said mounting member; and a plurality of apertures through said end members for the receipt therein of fastening devices to fasten the module mounting system to a mounting surface.

20. A module mounting system comprising: a mounting member comprising a base member; a first sidewall and a second sidewall coupled to said base member forming a generally U-shaped channel; first flexure means coupled to at least one of said first and second sidewalls; said first flexure means having a free end extending downwardly towards said base member and inwardly towards said other sidewall; a module proportioned to fit within said mounting member; said module comprising a base face ositionable ad'acent said base member; first and second side aces positionab e ad acent said sidewalls; and a step in at least one of said first and second faces positionable adjacent the free end of said first flexure means; said step being engaged by the free end of said first flexure means in locking engagement; the generally downward insertion of said module through the open end of said mounting member causing the outward flexure of said first flexure means until said step in said module side face passes the free end of said first flexure means wherein the free end ofsaid first flexure means returns towards its original position engaging in locking relationship said step preventing the unwanted withdrawal of said module from said mounting member; at least one of said first and second side faces of said module has a channel communicating with said step whereby the sides of said first flexure means engage at least a portion of the channel walls to prevent movement of said module along said mounting member length.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification211/89.1, 211/26, 248/314, 361/730, 439/532, 439/716, 439/357
International ClassificationH01R31/00, H01R13/516, H02B1/015, H01R13/518, H01R31/02, H02B1/052
Cooperative ClassificationH02B1/052, H01R13/518, H01R31/02
European ClassificationH01R13/518, H02B1/052