US 3560908 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1971 DELL ET AL ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR HAVING IMPROVED MOUNTING MEANS Original Filed Aug. 5, 1966 2 Sheets-$heet l Fe 2, 1971 J, DELL ET AL 3,560,9 0
ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR HAVING IMPROVED MOUNTING MEANS Original Filed Aug. 3, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,560,908 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR HAVING IMPROVED MOUNTING MEANS Harry John Dell, Mechanicsburg, and Earl Earnest Folkenroth, Harrisburg, Pa., assignors to AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa.
Continuation of application Ser. No. 569,946, Aug. 3, 1966. This application Nov. 25, 1968, Ser. No. 778,864 Int. Cl. H01r 13/54 US. Cl. 339-91 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Electrical connector comprises first and second connector parts which are matable with each other. Each part has a body portion and a hood portion, the hood portion of the first one of the parts being telescopically receivable in the hood portion of the second part. The body portion of the first part and the hood portion of the second part have the same outside dimensions and cross-sectional configuration so that the body portion and the hood portion of the first and second parts respectively can be inserted into a panel opening of one size. Securing means, in the form of integral divergently extending ears, are provided on the body portion of the first part and the hood portion of the second part so that either'part can be mounted in a panel.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This application is a continuation of my prior application Ser. No. 569,946, filed Aug. 3, 1966, and now abandoned.
This invention relates to multi-contact electrical connectors of the type in which the two connector parts each comprise a unitary molding.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved molded electrical connector. A further object is to provide a connector comprising two matable connector parts, either one of which can be inserted into, and mounted in, a panel from either side of the panel. A still further object is to provide a connector comprising two parts, either of which can be mounted in a panel, and which is constructed in a manner such that the parts can be disengaged regardless of which part is mounted in the panel. A further object is to provide a connector assembly which can be mounted against one side of a panel. A further object is to provide a low-cost molded connector assembly which offers the advantages of a highcontact density and which can be used in a variety of ways depending upon the wiring system in which it is used.
These and other advantages of the invention are achieved in one preferred embodiment thereof comprising a pair of matable connector parts, each part comprising a molded body of insulating material having contact receiving cavities extending therethrough. Each of the two parts has an integral hood surrounding its mating end, the hood of one of the parts being telescopically receivable in the hood of the second part. The hood of one of the parts has a pair of slots extending axially inwardly from its leading edge which define a stifily flexible axial tongue. This tongue has an axial rib on its surface and a pair of latching bosses on each side of the rib. The hood of the other part of the connector assembly has an axially extending slot, the width of which is equal to the width of the rib so that the rib will enter the slot during mating of the parts. The slot is enlarged at its inner end by an amount equal to the width of the latching bosses, the arrangement being such that when the parts are engaged, the disc is pressed inwardly until 3,560,908 Patented Feb. 2, 1971 "Ice the latching bosses lodge in the enlarged portion of the slot thereby to lock the two connector parts to each other. In the preferred embodiment, the external dimensions of the hood of the one connector part are the same as the internal dimensions of the body portion of the other connector part so that either the hood portion of the one connector part or the body portion of the other connector part can be mounted in a panel opening of a given size. As will be shown below, either of the connector parts can also be mounted from either side of the panel so that the connector can be used under a wide variety of conditions. A connector assembly in accordance with the invention can also be mounted on one side of a panel with its axis extending parallel to the plane of the panel.
In the drawings.
FIG. 1 shows the two parts of a connector assembly in accordance with the invention exploded from each other;
FIGS. 2 and 3 are side views partly in section of the parts of a connector assembly in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 4 shows a panel opening of a shape such that either of the connector parts shown in FIGS. l-3 can be mounted;
FIGS. 5 and 6 show the manner in which either of the parts of the connector assembly are mounted in the panel opening of FIG. 4;
FIGS. 7 and 8 show methods of mounting a connector assembly in accordance with the invention on one side of a panel; and
FIG. 9 is a plan view of a panel opening which is used when the connector is mounted as shown in FIG. 7.
Referring first to FIGS. 1-3, preferred form of the connector assembly in accordance with the invention comprises a plug portion 2 and a cap portion 4, the cap 4 comprises a cylindrical block or body portion 6 of insulating material, such as a suitable nylon, having a plurality of contact cavities 8 extending from its rearward side 10 through the block to the mating face 12. Contacts 14, 16 are contained in these cavities, the contacts 14 comprising contact pins and the contacts 16 comprising contact sockets. These contacts may be of the general type shown in application Ser. No. 545,527, filed Apr. 21, 1966, by Wilfred Scheller, for Spring Latch Means, now US. Pat. 3,292,137. As will be apparent as this description proceeds, a distinct advantage of a connector in accordance with the invention is that either contact pins or contact sockets can be used in either of the connector parts 2, 4. The contacts 14, 16 are crimped or otherwise secured to wires 18 which extend from the rearward side of the block 6.
A hexagonal hood 20 surrounds, and is radially spaced from, the periphery of the mating face 12. This hood extends rearwardly past the mating face and is integral with the body portion 6 as shown at 22 so that a circumferential recess 24 is provided between the internal surface of the hood and the external surface of the body portion 6. Each of the six sides of the external surface of the hood is provided with cars 26, 28 for securing the hood in an opening in a panel. Alternate one of these ears, i.e., the cars 28, slope forwardly and divergently with respect to the axis of the connector and the remaining ears 26 slops rearwardly and divergently. These ears are somewhat flexible so that they will yield when the hood of part 4 is inserted through a panel opening 70 (FIG. 4) but will return to their original position after insertion so that the edges 31 will bear the panel surface.
An axially extending rib 32 is provided on the hood 20 which conforms to a notch 72 in the panel opening 70. The interengagement of this rib with the notch 72 locks the connector part 4 against rotation in the panel opening after it has been assembled to the panel. A rib 34 is provided on the internal surface of the hood in alignment with the rib 32 and functions to orient the connector part 4 with respect to the part 2 when the two parts are engaged.
A pair of axially extending slots 36 are provided on opposite sides of the hood and are undercut as shown at 38. These slots have laterally extending notches or relatively enlarged sections 40 at their innner ends. The slots extend for substantially the full length of the hood 20 and the notches 40 are thus located rearwardly of the mating face 12.
The connector part 2 comprises a hexagonal body portion in the form of a block 42, the outside dimensions of this block being the same as the outside dimensions of the hood 20 of the connector part 4. Bars 46, 48 are provided on each of the six sides of the body portion 42 to serve the same purpose as the ears 26, 28, that is, to attach the connector part 4 to the panel 30. It will thus be apparent that one size of panel opening will accept either of the two connector parts of the assembly. An axially extending rib 44 is provided on the block 42 which, like rib 32, conforms to the notch 72 of the panel opening 70. The block 42 is also provided with a plurality of cavities 50 which extend from the rearward side 52 to the mating face 54.
A hood 56 extends from, and surrounds, the mating face 53 of the block 42, the outside diameter of this hood being substantially equal to the inside diameter of the hood 20. A slot 58 is provided in this hood for reception of the internal rib 34 of the connector part 4, this slot 58 being in axial alignment with an external rib 44 on the body portion 42 of part 2. This arrangement facilitates mating of the parts 2, 4 in that they can be engaged with each other only if the ribs 44, 32 are aligned with each other prior to mating.
The hood 56 is provided with a pair of stifily flexible tongues 62 on diametrically opposite sides thereof which are defined by inwardly directed slots 58. Each tongue has an axially extending rib 64 on its external surface and latching bosses are provided on each side of the rib at the forward end of the hood. These latching bosses comprise inclined planes 66 having rearwardly facing shoulders 68 which cooperate with the notches 40 in a manner described below.
In use, the cavities of the connector parts 2, 4 will contain contacts of the type shown in 14 and 16. The hoods 20, 56 extend axially beyond the mating faces of the parts by an amount slightly greater than the length of the projecting portions of the contact pins mounted in the block so that either pins or sockets can be mounted in either of the parts. The advantage of providing hoods on both of the connetcor parts is that if both of the blocks contain some contact pins, the end portions of the pins, which extend beyond the mating faces of the parts, will be protected by the hoods. When the connector is to -be mounted in a panel with its axis extending normally to the plane of the panel, either part can be inserted through the panel opening 70 until the ears 28, 26 on part 4 or 46, 48 of the part 2 bear against the opposite sides of the panel. The other part can be then mated to the part which is mounted in the panel by merely aligning the ribs 44, 32 and pushing the parts together. While the parts are being engaged with each other, the tongues 62 are flexed inwardly until the shoulders 68 move relatively past the rearwardly facing edges 74 of the notches 40. The tongues will then spring back to their original positions to lock the parts together.
Regardless of which part is mounted in the panel 30, the other part can be disengaged from the mounted part by merely depressing the tongues 62. This is done by pressing on the ribs 64 until the shoulders 68 are disen gaged from the edges 74. Depression on these tongues can be accomplished by merely grasping the ribs 64 between the thumb and forefinger and pressing inwardly.
The versatility of the disclosed embodiment of the invention is particularly beneficial in assembly line operations. For example, the electrical components, such as motors and switches of appliances, are wired during the final assembly operations. These wiring operations are usually carried out by means of wiring harnesses com-. prising the necessary wires to interconnect the parts with terminals and connector housings on the wire ends. When connectors of the type described herein are used on such harnesses, the connectors can be mounted in a panel in the appliace from either side and either part can be mounted in the panel. FIGS. 5 and 6' illustrate the manner in which parts 4 and 2 respectively can be mounted in a panel opening.
Referring now to FIGS. 7-9, it is sometimes desirable to mount a connector on one side of a panel with the connector axis extending parallel to the plane of the panel and the mounting ears 26, 28, 46, 48 can be used for this purpose. The cars 26, 48 can be used cooperatively to mount the connector in a panel opening of thie general type shown in FIG. 9 which is relatively wide in its upper portion 74 and which necks down to a narrow portion 76, the width of which is substantially equal to the distance between the root portions 80, 82 of the ears 26, 48. The connector is mounted on the panel and in this opening by aligning an associated pair of cars 26, 48 with the upper side portion 74 by the panel opening and then moving the connector relatively downwardly until the ears are locked in the narrow portion 76 of the opening.
FIG. 8 shows an alternative side mounting method in which the cars 28, 46 are used. In this embodiment, tabs 78 are struck-out from the panel 30 and the ears 28, 46 are inserted through the openings formed in the panel by these tabs. A connector in accordance with the invention can also be used as a free-hanging connector, that is, one which is not mounted on a support of any kind since the two parts of the connector are latched together by the arms 62 of the part 2. It is often desirable, however, in the case of a free-hanging connector to anchor the connector against the panel as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 in order to provide a neat wiring arrangement and to provide added assurance that the parts will not be accidentally disengaged. It will be apparent from FIGS. 7 and 8 that the two parts of the connector must be properly engaged with each other if the assembly is mounted on the side of a panel, a feature which gives a visual indication of the fact that the connector is functioning properly.
While the preferred embodiment shows a cylindrical connector which is adapted to be mounted in or on a panel, the principles of the invention are obviously applicable to connectors having other configurations and adapted to be used with other shapes of panel openings. Particularly, the principle of providing telescoping hoods on both of the connector parts and providing cars 26, 28, 46, 48 on the hood of the one part and on the body portion of the other, could be used with connectors of, for example, rectangular shape.
Changes in construction will occur to those skilled in the art and various apparently different modifications and embodiments may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The matter set forth in the foregoing description and accompanying drawings is offered by way of illustration only. The actual scope of the invention is intended to be defined in the following claims when viewed in their proper perspective against the prior art.
The claims are as follows:
1. An electrical connector assembly comprising first and second matable parts, said first and second parts each comprising a body portion and a hood portion, said hood portion of said first part being telescopically receivable in said hood portion of said second part, the body portion of said first part and said hood portion of said second part having the same transverse dimensions, said hood portion of said first part having a smaller cross section than said body portion of said first part, and said body portion of said second part having transverse dimensions which are no greater than the transverse dimensions of said hood portion of said second part whereby, either or said parts can be inserted through a panel opening of given configuration from either side of said panel, deflectable latching ear means on said body portion and hood portion of said first and second parts respectively for latching either of said parts to said panel, and interengaging means integral with said hood portion of said first part and said hood of said second part for latching said parts together, said interengaging means comprising a pair of spaced-apart slots extending inwardly from the leading edge of said hood portion of said first part, said slots defining a flexible tongue, said hood portion of said second part having a tongue-receiving slot extending inwardly from its leading edge, and interengaging latching means on said tongue and on said hood of said second part adjacent to said slot for latching said parts together.
2. A connector assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said body portion of said first part and said hood portion of said second part have polygonal cross sections.
3. A connector assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said latching means comprises latching bosses on said tongue and recesses on said hood portion of said second part on each side of said tongue-receiving slot, said recesses being adapted to receive said latching bosses.
4. An electrical connector assembly comprising a pair of matable connector parts, said parts each comprising a body of insulating material having a contact receiving cavity extending therethrough from its one side to its mating side, said parts each having a hood integral therewith and surrounding its mating end, the hood of a first one of said parts being telescopically receivable in the hood of the second one of said parts, the hood of one of said parts having a pair of slots extending axially inwardly from its leading end to define an axially extending tongue, said tongue having an axially extending rib on its surface, a pair of latching bosses on each side of said rib, the hood of the other second part having an axially extending slot of a width substantially equal to the width of said rib, whereby said rib enters said slot during mating of said parts, said slot having laterally extending notches disposed inwardly from the leading edge of said hood of said second part for cooperation with said latching bosses to latch said parts together.
5. An electrical connector assembly comprising, a pair of matable connector parts, said assembly having securing means on its external surface for securing said assembly to a panel with the axis of said connector assembly extending parallel to the plane of said panel, said securing means comprising first ear means on one of said parts and second ear means on the other one of said parts, said first and second ear means being in axial alignment when said connector parts are mated with each other, each of said ear means extending divergently and rearwardly with respect to the connector part on which it is mounted and being insertible through an opening in said panel to secure said connector assembly to said panel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,207,812 12/1916 Stiles.
2,469,397 5/ 1949 Mezek.
3,096,026 7/1963 Bruce et al. 3,178,674 4/ 1965 Scheller. 3,289,145 11/ 1966 .Ruehlemann et a1.
FOREIGN PATENTS 73,834 9/1960 France.
MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner a I. H. MCGLYNN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.