Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3571779 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 23, 1971
Filing dateNov 7, 1968
Priority dateNov 18, 1967
Publication numberUS 3571779 A, US 3571779A, US-A-3571779, US3571779 A, US3571779A
InventorsCollier John Covell
Original AssigneeAmp Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-sealing pinboard
US 3571779 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1952 Doane i. 339/94 5/1954 Anderson et al 339/96X 1/1955 Jones 339/96 3/1955 Minto 339/96X 10/1958 Christie et al.... 339/96 1/1960 Hoberg etal. 339/18(C) 2/1966 Newton, Jr. 339/18 Primary ExaminerMarvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Patrick A. Clifford Att0rneysCurtis, Morris and Safford, Marshall M.

Holcombe, William J. Keating, Frederick W. Raring, John R. Hopkins, Adrian J. La Rue and Jay L. Seitchik ABSTRACT: The contacts of a pinboard are sealed against moisture or corrosive atmospheres by a layer of rubber which is punctured when a pin is inserted. The edges of the hole formed in the rubber form a seal around the pin SELF-SEALING PIN BOARD This invention relates to a circuit contact arrangement comprising a housing of insulating material containing a plurality of contacts aligned with apertures on one side of the housing through which apertures conductive pins can be inserted to connect with the contacts.

Such circuit contact arrangements have may applications particularly in the fields of selective switching and programming where they can be incorporated as pinboards or plugboards. Often the apparatus of which they form part has to be used in a corrosive or damp atmosphere such as in a chemical processing plant or in a ship which travels through the tropics. In such applications, the quality of the electrical contact between the contact and the pin can quickly deteriorate which may lead to a fault occurring in the apparatus. It is thus necessary to provide for the contact area to be protected from the effects of any corrosive ambient atmosphere.

According to the present invention a circuit contact arrangement comprises a housing of insulating material contain ing a plurality of contacts aligned with apertures on one side of the housing and resilient sealing means closing the apertures.

An object of the invention is to provide a pinboard having a sealing diaphragm disposed in position thereon to seal the contacts of the pinboard from ambient atmospheric conditions.

Another object is the provision of a pinboard wherein the sealing diaphragm thereon is pierced by pins to reach the contacts therein.

A further object is to provide a pinboard wherein the sealing diaphragm thereon is slit at areas in alignment with holes in the pinboard and contacts so that parts of the diaphragm are trapped between the contact holes and pins thereby effecting a moistureproof seal or retardation of corrosiveness to the contact means.

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.

In order that the invention may be readily understood two embodiments of a circuit contact arrangement will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawing.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a part sectional perspective view of the first embodiment; and

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the second embodiment.

Referring first to FIG. 1, the circuit contact arrangement shown here forms a pinboard in which a variety of different programs can be set up by inserting pins to establish different contact patterns. The pinboard comprises a housing of insulating material made of two parts, a block or base part 1 and a top panel 2. The base part 1 houses two sets of electrical contacts 3,4 arranged one above the other in rows and columns respectively. Each row or column of contacts is identical and comprises a base strip 5 of conductive material having pairs of contact arms 6 bent up from its edges. The pairs of arms 6 are equally spaced along the length of the strip and are inwardly inclined towards their free ends and formed with a contact area 7. Holes 8 are made in base strip 5 and aligned with the centers of the pairs of contact arms 6. The sets of contacts are arranged so that the contacts are equally spaced and so that contacts of each row are aligned with the contacts of the columns and with the holes 8 in alignment. The panel 2 is provided with an array of apertures 9 in line with the holes 8 of the contacts so that a pin 10 can be inserted through a selected aperture 9 to connect a selected row 3 of contacts with a selected column 4 of contacts below it. In order to enable preselected programs to be set up, the panel 2 has a mask 11 placed over it which enables only certain contacts to be made through holes 12. The other apertures 9 are masked off and no wrong connection can therefore be made by a pin 10.

The base 1 is a solid molding and has the panel 2 secured to it by screws (not shown). A diaphragm 15 is placed across the top of the base part 1 and rests against the underside of the plate 2. The diaphragm is made of a resilient rubber sheet or other suitable material and acts as a gasket to prevent moisture reaching the contacts through the joints between base part 1 and panel 2. Assuming that there are no pins in the panel 2 the diaphragm l5 effectively seals off the apertures 9 and prevents any moisture reaching the contacts through these apertures.

When a program is to be set up, pins 10 are inserted through the appropriate apertures 9 into the body of block 1 to make connections between appropriate sets of contacts 3,4. To reach the contacts the pin 10 has to pierce the diaphragm 15. Due to its resilient nature the diaphragm will cling closely around the pin to prevent any moisture from the atmosphere reaching the contacts around the area of the pin where the diaphragm is ruptured. When a pin is withdrawn the resilient nature of the diaphragm enables it to close together so that the hole formed init does not allow the ingress of moisture from the atmosphere to the contacts.

In the second embodiment in FIG. 2, to which reference is now made, the contact arrangement is similar to that of FIG. 1 but the sets of contacts are only arranged in rows for bussing purposes and the diaphragm is weakened in the region of the apertures to ease the insertion of a pin. Furthermore to ensure that electrical and atmospheric isolation occurs the rows of contacts are isolated from each other.

The pinboard comprises a base 20 having a bottom plate 21 with sidewalls 22. The base is divided along its length by intermediate walls 23 having a height equal to that of the sidewalls 22. The walls 22,23 and the bottom panel 21 are made as an integral molding from a plastic insulating material. A top panel 24 rests on top of the walls 22,23 and is separated from the part 20 by a resilient plastic diaphragm 25 as shown. Sets of contacts 26 similar to the contacts 3,4 of FIG. 1 lie in the channels formed by the walls 23,24 and are secured at their ends by means (not shown) to lie with their base strips 27 along the top of the channels. The base strips 27 are provided with holes 28 aligned with apertures 29 in the top panel 24. The area of the diaphragm 25 in line with each pair of holes 28 and apertures 29 is slit at 30 to enable a plug or pin member 31 secured to a wire 32 to be inserted easily and with little risk of tearing the diaphragm 25.

The effect of inserting the pin 31 into the pinboardcan be seen well in FIG. 2. As the pin is inserted through the diaphragm, the slit 30 opens to allow the pin to pass through, and, at the same time, the edges of the diaphragm in the area of the slit are pulled down into the channel to trap the material of the diaphragm between hole 28 and the pin 31. This gives an effective moistureproof seal. When the pin is withdrawn, the edges of the diaphragm slit drawn into the hole 28 are removed and the slit closes up to seal aperture 29.

The diaphragm need not be weakened only by producing a slit such as 30 but may be formed with areas of less thickness in the area of the apertures 29. Although it is useful for the diaphragm to extend right across the base 20 since it also serves as a gasket between the walls 22,23 and the top panel 24, it is not essential that it follow this form. Separate conventional gaskets could be used so that even if atmosphere leaked into one channel, it would not pass into all the channels and each aperture 29 could be provided with a separate sealing diaphragm.

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.


1. An electric contact arrangement comprising a plurality of contacts mounted within a housing of insulating material closed on one side by an insulating side member formed with apertures aligned with respective contacts within the housing for insertion of pins through the apertures, each contact comprising a base strip portion having a pair of contact arms bent up one from each side and convergent towards their free ends, an aperture being formed in the base strip portion for passage of a pin through the contact aperture to engage between the arms, the base strip portion being disposed against a sealing diaphragm of resilient sealing material positioned between the base strip and the one side of the housing, the contact apertures of the plurality of contacts being aligned with respective apertures in the housing one side and the contact arms extending away from the housing one side such that on inserting a pin through an aperture in the one side of the housing to pierce the diaphragm, penetrate the associated contact aperture and engage between the contact arms, resilient sealing material of the diaphragm is trapped between the pin and the surrounding wall of the aperture in the base strip.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2619515 *Dec 20, 1947Nov 25, 1952Leroy C DoaneVapor and explosion proof plug and receptacle
US2677811 *Apr 22, 1952May 4, 1954Airtron IncQuickly disconnectible contact plug assembly
US2700141 *Jun 16, 1952Jan 18, 1955Jones Herbert ODetachable underwater electrical connector
US2703870 *Feb 12, 1954Mar 8, 1955Minto Robert WElectrical connector
US2858518 *May 1, 1957Oct 28, 1958Gen Dynamics CorpFluid tight electrical connection
US2922135 *Mar 4, 1955Jan 19, 1960Burroughs CorpElectrical pin board cross connecting device
US3235830 *Aug 10, 1962Feb 15, 1966Jr George C NewtonElectrical connector apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3848949 *Nov 24, 1972Nov 19, 1974Deep Oil Technology IncSubsea button-type electrical connector
US3989338 *Nov 8, 1974Nov 2, 1976Gosser Robert BPush-pin assembly method and construction
US4010992 *Jan 8, 1976Mar 8, 1977Aries Electronics, Inc.Low profile socket having terminal pins sealingly mounted in socket housing
US4017140 *Oct 28, 1975Apr 12, 1977Amp IncorporatedWire-in-slot electrical connections
US4274197 *Sep 21, 1979Jun 23, 1981Thomas & Betts CorporationMethod of making an environmental seal
US4411491 *Sep 10, 1981Oct 25, 1983Trw Inc.Connector assembly with elastomeric sealing membranes having slits
US4473267 *Mar 12, 1981Sep 25, 1984Thomas & Betts CorporationElectrical connector for use in adverse environments
US4527851 *May 14, 1984Jul 9, 1985Allied CorporationElectrical connector assembly having an interfacial seal
US4567654 *Jun 3, 1985Feb 4, 1986Emhart Industries, Inc.Bussing block
US4721478 *Aug 15, 1986Jan 26, 1988Thomas & Betts CorporationWater sealed electrical connector
US4759724 *Feb 25, 1987Jul 26, 1988Bendix Electronics S.A.Housing for an electrical device
US4824390 *Feb 8, 1988Apr 25, 1989Gte Products CorporationCoated electrical connector
US4840571 *Dec 11, 1987Jun 20, 1989Nec CorporationHousing structure for decreasing a radio unit's susceptibility to static electricity
US5153818 *Dec 6, 1990Oct 6, 1992Rohm Co., Ltd.Ic memory card with an anisotropic conductive rubber interconnector
US5340327 *Feb 8, 1993Aug 23, 1994Kabushiki Kaisha DenkoshaSockets for discharge lamp
US5429697 *Nov 1, 1993Jul 4, 1995At&T Corp.Method of sealing a module
US5580282 *Jan 14, 1994Dec 3, 1996Emerson Electric Co.Sealable shaped connector block for a terminal assembly
US5941282 *Oct 22, 1997Aug 24, 1999Aisin Seiki Kabushiki KaishaElectromagnetic valve unit
US6015197 *Feb 28, 1998Jan 18, 20003Com Corp.Protective grommet apparatus and method
US6129575 *Dec 21, 1998Oct 10, 2000Lucent Technologies Inc.Testing system for a connector with a self-sealing connector housing
US6129577 *Dec 21, 1998Oct 10, 2000Lucent Technologies Inc.Connector testing system having connector latching
US6227900Jul 5, 1997May 8, 2001Continental Teves Ag & Co. OhgConnector for providing a humidity-tight electrical connection
US6280236Dec 21, 1998Aug 28, 2001Avaya Technology Corp.Testing system with bridge clip, and connector having a positive stop
US6293815 *Dec 21, 1998Sep 25, 2001Lucent Technologies, Inc.Connector having self-sealing membrane
US6302725Dec 21, 1998Oct 16, 2001Avaya Technology CorporationSelf-latching terminal strip
US6340306Dec 21, 1998Jan 22, 2002Avaya Technology Corp.Bridge clip for a connector
US6360438Oct 25, 2000Mar 26, 2002Delphi Technologies, Inc.Method of making an upper housing for a bussed electrical center
US6361341 *Jun 7, 2000Mar 26, 2002Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.Connector housing for a watertight connector and a watertight connector
US6373259Mar 9, 1999Apr 16, 2002Avaya Technology Corp.Connector testing system having a test prong including a projection
US6459590 *Jun 15, 2001Oct 1, 2002Whirlpool CorporationCentral unit for grouping electronic components of refrigerators, freezers and similar appliances
US6547586 *May 14, 2001Apr 15, 2003Delphi Technologies, Inc.Sealed electrical distribution center
US6551124 *Sep 19, 2000Apr 22, 2003Woertz AgContacting device for a flat band cable
US6986672 *Mar 4, 2004Jan 17, 2006Pioneer CorporationElectric contact structure, process for producing the same and electronic instrument having the same
US7114968 *Oct 27, 2005Oct 3, 2006Rafael HealyPlastic gate for electrical outlets
US8371881 *Jun 13, 2011Feb 12, 2013Mig Electronic Industrial Co., Ltd.Electric socket
US9608340 *Jul 4, 2013Mar 28, 2017Kiekert AktiengesellschaftMethod for connecting an electrical component to a component support, and device
US20040043673 *Jun 11, 2001Mar 4, 2004Chul ParkConnector and substrate for eletronic circuit fabrication
US20040175968 *Mar 4, 2004Sep 9, 2004Pioneer CorporationElectric contact structure, process for producing the same and electronic instrument having the same
US20060094272 *Oct 27, 2005May 4, 2006Rafael HealyPlastic gate for electrical outlets
US20080268724 *Apr 24, 2007Oct 30, 2008Singatron Enterprise Co., Ltd.Elastic terminal structure
US20120220165 *Jun 13, 2011Aug 30, 2012Mig Electronic Industrial Co., Ltd.Electric Socket
US20150155639 *Jul 4, 2013Jun 4, 2015Kiekert AktiengesellschaftMethod for connecting an electrical component to a component support, and device
DE3035342A1 *Sep 19, 1980Apr 2, 1981Thomas & Betts CorpKabelabdichtung und verfahren zu deren herstellung
EP1289069A2 *Aug 15, 2002Mar 5, 2003GŁnther Spelsberg GmbH & Co. KGTerminal block
EP1289069A3 *Aug 15, 2002Mar 17, 2004GŁnther Spelsberg GmbH & Co. KGTerminal block
WO1983000935A1 *Aug 16, 1982Mar 17, 1983Trw IncConnector assembly
WO1995018474A1 *Dec 30, 1994Jul 6, 1995Ab VolvoSurface cover for an electric coupling unit and a method for applying said surface cover
WO1997032363A1 *Feb 20, 1997Sep 4, 1997Danfoss A/SHousing for an electrical device
WO1998010489A1 *Jul 5, 1997Mar 12, 1998Itt Manufacturing Enterprises, Inc.Connector for providing a humidity-tight electrical connection
U.S. Classification439/587, 439/426, 361/633, 439/272, 439/271
International ClassificationH01R13/453, H01R13/44, H01R9/28, H01R9/22
Cooperative ClassificationH01R9/28, H01R13/453
European ClassificationH01R9/28