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Publication numberUS3573717 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 6, 1971
Filing dateNov 12, 1968
Priority dateNov 12, 1968
Publication numberUS 3573717 A, US 3573717A, US-A-3573717, US3573717 A, US3573717A
InventorsLinn Stephen Lightner
Original AssigneeAmp Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector assembly
US 3573717 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent lnventor Linn Stephen Lightner Camp Hill, Pa. Appl. No. 774,744 Filed Nov. 12, 1968 Patented Apr. 6, 1971 Assignee AMP Incorporated Harrisburg, Pa.

CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 339/ 176, 339/206, 339/218 Int. Cl HOlr 13/50 Field of Search 339/17, 176 (M,MP,MF), 217, 275(MA1N, B, T), 206, 210, 2 i8, 22 l Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Lawrence J. Staab Attorneys-Curtis, Morris and Safford, Marshall M.

Holcombe, William Hintze, William J. Keating, Frederick W. Raring, John R. Hopkins, Adrian J. La Rue and Jay L. Seitchik ABSTRACT: An electrical connector assembly is disclosed and comprises a contact housing and cooperating connector block. A plurality of electrical contacts are disposed in the housing and have tab means extending therefrom and overlying the connector block. Locating means are incorporated within the connector block for orienting the contact tabs to facilitate connection of the assembly with external circuitry.

Patented A ril 6, 1911 s Sheets-Shet 2 INVENTOR.

Lmm STEPHEN LIGHTNER A k M Patented April 6, 1911 :5 smu shm s INVENTOR. LINN STEPHEN LIGHTNEQ CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY The requirements of the electronics industry dictate the use of electrical connectors which are of ever decreasing size and ever increasing contact density. The electrical connectors which are sufficiently miniaturized to meet the needs of industry give rise to certain problems which did not previously exist with regard to standard electrical connectors. In particular, miniature connectors with high contact density have the problem that the contact tabs, that is the portion of the contact which is to be connected to external circuitry, are extremely close together thereby rendering it difficult if not impossible to use standard soldering techniques for connecting the tabs to electrical conductors.

A connector block is provided by this invention and cooperates with a contact housing to separate and orient the contact tabs to maintain adequate spacing therebetween to permit connection of the contact tabs by soldering or the like. The contact tabs are retained in position on the connector block by means of a resin impregnated strip which may be heated to thereby become bonded to the block.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawings in which like reference numerals refer to like parts:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of a connector assembly made in accordance with the teachings of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIG. I but showing the various parts of the assembly in their exploded condition;

FIG. 3 is a partial top plan view of the connector assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4 and taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3 showing further details of the disposition of the contact tabs; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 3 showing further details of the assembly.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The attainments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the-an upon a reading of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which there is shown and described an illustrative embodiment of the invention; it is to be understood, however, that this embodiment is not intended to be exhaustive nor limiting of the invention but is given for purpose 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 FIG. I there is shown a connector assembly indicated generally at 10 and constituting the preferred embodiment of this invention. The assembly 10 comprises a contact housing 12 and a cooperating connector block 14. Both the housing and the connector block are formed of a suitable dielectric material such as diallyl phthalate. The housing 12 is provided with a plurality of apertures 16 and 18 disposed respectively along two parallel rows. The apertures are regularly spaced along the housing with the apertures of one row being offset relative to the apertures in the other row.

A plurality of electrical contacts 20 are disposed respectively within the upper row of apertures 16 and a plurality of electrical contacts 22 are disposed respectively in the lower row of apertures 18. The contacts 20 and 22 may be of any convenient form and may be either a female receptacle as shown in the drawings or may be a male pin member. Shoulder means 24 are located within the contact housing and serve to limit movement of the contacts in the direction towards the forward face 26 of the housing. The rearward side of the housing 12 is provided with an elongated recess 28 which intersects each of the apertures 16 and 18 and is for receiving the forward edge of connector block 14.

The contacts 20 and 22 as shown in the drawings are pluggable elements and may, for example, pluggably receive male pin members or the like. In order to transmit current through the contacts and to external circuitry there are provided tab means 30 and 32 extending respectively from the contacts 20 and 22. These tab means are formed integrally with the contacts and preferably are provided along their length with preplated areas of solder indicated at 34 and 36 respectively on the tabs 30 and 32. The solder is contained in troughlike portions which receive the external circuitry and are connected thereto upon the application of heat to the solder.

As can be seen from the drawings the closeness of the spacing between the contact tabs would make selective soldering extremely difficult if all of the solder areas where were in alignment. To avoid this problem, the contact tabs are oriented in spaced and staggered relationship and this is achieved by means of the connector block 14 in a manner to be now described.

The block 14 has a forward projection 38 which fits within the recess 28 formed in the contact housing to orient the connector block relative to the housing. Block 14 is best shown in FIG. 2 and comprises a series of regularly spaced parallel slots 40 between which are disposed raised surfaces 42. A channel 44 is formed in the block at right-angles to the slots 40 and raised surfaces 42. The rearward face of channel 44 is provided with a series of regularly spaced notches 46 located in alignment with the raised surfaces 42.

A second solid raised surface 48 is provided and terminates in a second channel 50 disposed parallel to the channel 44 previously described. The rearward face of channel 50 is provided with a series of regularly spaced notches 52 which are in alignment with the slots 40 and are therefore offset from the notches 46.

When the connector block 14 is located in position relative to the contact housing 12 the various contact tabs are in position to be located on the connector block. The tabs 30 which extend from the upper row of contacts 20 lie within the slotted portions 40 and then extend along the top of raised surface 48. The free ends of tabs 30 extend down within the channel 50 and terminate in one of the notches 52. The final disposition of the tabs 30 is best seen in FIGS. 1 and 6. The solder portion 34 of the tabs 30 is located along the upper face of raised surface 48 to thereby be in proper position for connection to external circuitry. As is apparent from FIG. 1 sufficient space is provided between the tabs 30 to allow for soldering since the intermediate tabs extending from the contacts 22 do not extend over raised surface 48. To retain the tabs 30 in position there is provided a retaining strip 54 of appropriate size and shape to fit snugly within the channel 50. Strip 54 is preferably formed of a fibrous material and is impregnated with a heatresponsive plastic resin whereby upon the application of heat and pressure to the strip the strip will bond itself within the channel 50 to permanently secure the tabs in their proper location.

The tabs 32 extending from the lower row of contacts 22 are bent upwardly along the interior of recess 28 in the contact housing and are aligned with the raised surfaces 42 so as to lie along the top face thereof. The solder portions 36 of the tabs 32 are positioned on raised surfaces 42 for receiving external circuitry members and it can be seen that these solder portions are alternately disposed relative to the solder portions 34 so as to create a staggered relation thereby affording maximum distance between solder portions to permit ease of soldering to the circuitry. The free ends of the tabs 32 are bent downwardly into the channel 44 and terminate in one of the notches 46. A retaining member 56, similar in material and form to the member 54 previously described, is receivable within the channel 44 and upon the application of pressure and heat thereto will permanently retain the tabs 32 in their proper position on the connector block.

It can thus be seen that a connector block is provided by this invention which is of relatively simple construction and which is capable of orienting a plurality of closely spaced contact tabs and positioning the tabs for connection to external circuitry. The retaining strips 54 and 56 provide a means of insuring that the tabs remain fixed in position during handling of the assembly prior to its final location in a selected circuit.

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.

I claim:

1. An electrical connector comprising a contact housing, a plurality of apertures regularly spaced along said housing, a plurality of electrical contacts disposed respectively in said plurality of apertures, tab means extending from each said contact externally of said housing, a connector block cooperating with said housing, a plurality of tab-locating means regularly spaced along said connector block, said tablocating means comprising slotted means disposed along an external surface of said connector block and raised surface means disposed between said slotted means, said tab means being alternately disposed on said raised surface means and within said slotted means to be thereby positioned by said tablocating means, and retaining means for retaining said tab means in position on said connector block.

2. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 1 wherein there are plural rows of said raised surface means for receiving alternate ones of said tab means. 7

3. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 2 further comprising solder means disposed on said tab means and located in the portions of said tab means which overlie said raised surface means.

4. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 2 further comprising channel means in said connector block for receiving the free ends of said tab means, said retaining means being disposed with said channel means and overlying said free ends.

5. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 4 wherein said retaining means comprises a fibrous material impregnated with a heat-responsive plastic resin.

6. For use in an electrical connector, a connector block formed of a dielectric material, said block comprising a plurality of regularly spaced slotted means for receiving electrical contact tabs, a plurality of raised surface means for receiving additional contact tabs and located between said slotted means, said raised surface means being disposed in plural rows for receiving alternating contact tabs, channel means adjacent each said row of raised surface means for receiving the free ends of said contact tabs, and retaining means for cooperation with said channel means to maintain said contact tabs in position on said connector block, said retaining means comprising a fibrous material impregnated with a heat-responsive plastic resin.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3296576 *Oct 14, 1964Jan 3, 1967Marathon Special Products CorpElectrical connector
US3409862 *Sep 8, 1966Nov 5, 1968Amp IncElectrical connector having improved contact retention means
US3434093 *Sep 27, 1966Mar 18, 1969Minnesota Mining & MfgSolderless connector for multipleconductor flat cable
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4444452 *Nov 9, 1981Apr 24, 1984Leopold Kostal Gmbh & Co. KgApparatus for central arrangement of electrical connector elements in motor vehicles
US4457570 *Dec 10, 1980Jul 3, 1984Virginia Patent Development CorporationConnector for mating modular plug with printed circuit board
US4501464 *Nov 30, 1981Feb 26, 1985Virginia Patent Development CorporationModular connector with improved housing and contact structure
US4553800 *Oct 15, 1982Nov 19, 1985Virginia Patent Development Corp.Low profile modular plug
US4577921 *Aug 17, 1984Mar 25, 1986Virginia Patent Development Corp.Modular connector with improved housing and contact structure
US5082462 *Oct 9, 1990Jan 21, 1992E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyRibbed terminal having pin lead-in portion thereon
U.S. Classification439/701, 439/736
International ClassificationH01R13/50, H01R13/40
Cooperative ClassificationH01R23/02, H01R2107/00
European ClassificationH01R23/02