US 3594699 A
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U d States ate  [mentors Max L. Jayne North Warren:
OTHER REFERENCES Gregory C Yam. Warren bmh 0i Pa. 1 lsglhggfiEgHvbfAlgxlglgfiL3gURE BULLETIN, Vol 9. Not [2|] Appl. No. 885,047 (22] Filed Dec. 15, 1969 Primary Examiner-James A. Leppmk  Patented July 20, 1971 Assistant Examiner-Joseph H. McGlynn  Assignee Sylvania Electric Products, lnc. Artorneys- Norman J. O'Malley, Donald R. Castle and William H. McNeil  ARTICULATED PRKNTED ClRCUllT EDGE CONNECTOR ABSTRACT: A printed circuit edge connector having an insu- 10 Claims, 10 Drawing FigS lating body comprising two opposing members mating at their respective base portions with a longitudinal spacing member,
 [1.8. CI .339/75 MP,
and at their respective upper portions with the upstanding 339/176MP sides of a U-shaped spring, thereby forming a channel for f Cl 13/54 receiving the edge of a printed circuit board, and making it Field l 7 6 possible to assemble and disassemble the entire connector while the metallic contacts whose upper portions are retained within the connector and whose lower portions are retained in  References Cited established positions within a board upon which the connector UNITED STATES PATENTS is mounted are allowed to remain in this established relation- 3,I30,35l 4/1964 Giel .i 317/10] ship, making it possible to replace one or more of these con- 3,489,990 1/ 1970 Parker et al. 339/75 MP tacts without having to remove all of them.
PATENTED JULZO'IBTI SHEET 1 BF 3 INVENTORS MAX L.JAYNE 8. GREGORY c. YEHL ATTORNEY PATENTED JULZO I971 SHEET 3 BF 3 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to electrical connectors and more particularly to edge connectors for printed circuit boards.
It is well known in the art that edge connectors for printed circuit boards usually consist of an insulating body having a plurality of resilient metallic contacts located therein. The
' construction of the insulating body usually defines a channel into which the terminal edge of a printed circuit board is introduced, and contact is thus made with the metallic contacts which, in turn, are electrically connected to another circuit. This circuit may be in the form of a printed circuit board and the portions of the contacts which extend from the connector are inserted directly into corresponding mating contacts within the board. Another arrangement could have the connector inserted into an insulating board, hereafter described as a mounting board, with the bottom portions of the contact members extending through the board and being individually attached to wiring from another circuit. Although other forms of printed circuit board-card connector relationships are possible, the latter mentioned arrangements will be of particular significance regarding this invention.
In an arrangement of this type, it is clearly seen according to the prior art that once the resilient metallic contacts have been attached to wiring from another circuit, removal of one of these contacts necessitates removing all of them because of their common attachment to the connector. Such procedure is time consuming and indeed costly in terms of manufacturing processes.
The resilient contacts of printed circuit edge connectors are of the thin stamped metal variety and extremely fragile. They are, therefore, located within the insulating body in a manner such that the insulating body provides a means for protection against possible destruction during installation, removal or repair of the connector.
In order that a connection of substantially good electrical quality can be achieved and maintained between the contacts and the inserted printed circuit board, the contacting portion of these metallic contacts is often coated with an nonoxidizing noble metal, usually gold. Needless to say, this coating process proves costly and the need to maintain these contacts for a maximum working life is most desirous in the industry. However, it has been found in the past that the printed circuit board, by its sliding contact during insertion and removal, has caused a wearing away of this expensive conductive coating material. Thus, not only has this resulted in an electrical connection of poorer quality, but has also proven rather costly.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Consequently, it is an object of this invention to obviate the above-cited disadvantages of the prior art.
It is another object of this invention to enhance the electrical connection of printed circuit board card connectors.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an electrical connector which allows insertion of a printed circuit board which will not contact the metallic contacts within the connector until insertion has been substantially completed.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an electrical connector which will allow removal of one or more of its metallic contacts without the necessityof removing all of the contacts from their respective positions on the mounting board, or to make repairs on the mounting board without removing all of the metallic contacts.
It is still further object of this invention to provide an electrical connector which has more substantial means for protecting the thin metallic contacts located therein than previ' ous connectors herebefore known in the art.
These objects are accomplished in one aspect of the invention by the provision of an electrical connector having a spaced array of resilient metallic contacts. This connector also comprises a pair of opposing members which are joined at their base portions with a base spacing member and at their upper portions with the upstanding sides of a U-shaped spring. Uncinated receiving members, located on the upper portion of the opposing members prevent contact between a printed circuit board and the metallic contacts until insertion of the board is substantially completed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is an exploded isometric view of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the invention in assembled form;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the connector receiving a printed circuit board;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the connector showing the printed circuit board in its fully inserted position;
FIG. 5 is a partial side elevational view of the connector showing the initial step in removing one of the metallic contacts;
FIG. 6 is a partial side elevational view of the connector showing the right opposing member of the insulating body being withdrawn;
FIG. 7 is a partial side elevational view of the connector showing the bottom portion of the contact being cut;
FIG. 8 is a partial side elevational view of the connector showing the contact being removed from the connector;
FIG. 9 is a partial side elevational view of the connector showing insertion of a new contact; and
FIG. 10 is a partial side elevational view showing the connector with the right opposing member returned.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS For a better understanding of the present invention, together with other and further objects, advantages, and capabilities thereof, reference is made to the following specification and appended claims in connection with the accompanying drawings.
As shown in FIG. 1, electrical connector 15 has an insulating body 17 comprising a left opposing member 21, and a right opposing member 21, a base-spacing member 25, and a U- haped spring 27.
Resilient metallic contacts 29, which have their upper portions retained and preloaded within the connector when finally assembled, are also shown. Both opposing members 21 and 21' are identical in structure but positioned in opposing relationship in the assembled connector. Consequently, for reasons of simplicity, numerals designating components of the right opposing member 21' will be similar to those designating corresponding components of the left opposing member 21, with the exception that each will be accentuated with a prime. Therefore a description of the left opposing member will be given, with only occasional reference to the right opposing member.
Left opposing member 21 has an upper portion 31, a substantially upright side portion 33, and a base portion 35. Included as an integral part of the upper portion 31 are a plurality of uncinated receiving members 37. Each of these members has an inwardly extending peripheral edge 43, an inwardly angled edge 45, and a substantially vertical edge 47, which in turn forms a channel 41 with the interior edge 51 of the substantially upright side portion 33. The purpose of this channel 41 is to receive the upstanding sides 55 of the U-shaped spring 27. When both sides 55 have been inserted within their respective channels 41, 41', this forms the compressive uniting means by which the upper portion of the connector is joined. In order that the base portion 35, of the opposing member can be aligned properly with the remaining components of the connector, a plurality of columnated projections 53 are formed upon the interior surfaces 55, 55 of opposing members 21 and 21' respectively. These columnated projections mate with corresponding apertures 65 formed within the base spacing member 25. Shown on each of these projections is an upstanding rib 73 which will form a locking means within the respective apertures 65. A more detailed explanation of this operation will be given, along with more detailed drawings, later in the specification.
The resilient metallic contacts 29 are aligned within the connector just prior to this mating of the columnated projections with the corresponding apertures. To facilitate this alignment, the upper portions 57 of the contacts 29 are inserted into the U-shaped spring 27 through openings 59 located within the base thereof. Thus, it can be seen that the upper portions 57 of the metallic contacts 29 are afforded protection by the U-shaped spring member in addition to that already provided by the opposing members of the insulating body 17.
To further aid in aligning the contacts within the connector, each contact is provided with a boxlike projection 61 located on the extending bottom portion 63 of the contact. These boxlike projections mate respectively with boxlike indentations 67 formed within base spacing member 25.
It is shown in FIG. 1 that at least two different structures for the resilient metallic contacts 29 are possible. Although other variations are possible, only these will be shown regarding this invention. The basic difference in structure is found within the extending bottom portion 63. This bottom portion may extend only vertically downward from the connector housing, or it may be formed in such a manner that it is retained within a horizontal slot 69 fonned within the base portion of one of the opposing members before it bends vertically downward in similar manner to that of the other structured contacts.
To assist in disassembly of the connector once it has been positioned on a mounting board, a series of lateral grooves 71 are formed within each of the opposing members. The purpose of these grooves is to receive a tool which will effectively pull the respective opposing member from the remainder of the connector. This operation will be more clearly explained along with additional drawings, later in the specification.
FIG. 2 shows the connector and the relative position of its components after final assembly.
As explained in FIG. 1, the opposing members 21, 21' have inwardly extending peripheral edges 43, 43' substantially upright side portions 33, 33 and base portions 35, 35. Also shown in FIG. 2 is the position of the resilient metallic contacts 29, within the connector, once assembly of the connector has been accomplished. As can be seen, the contacting edges 75 of the contacts do not touch, but instead remain at an established distance a from the venical center line 77 of the connector. Shown in greater detail also is the position of the boxlike projections 61 within the boxlike indentations 67.
In FIG. 3 is shown the initial insertion of the printed circuit board 81. As can be seen, the contact edges 79 of the circuit board do not come in contact with the contacting edges 75 of the resilient metallic contacts during this step of the operation. The circuit board acts in a manner so as to separate the opposing members 21, 2], as well as the upstanding sides 55 of the U-shaped spring 27. This movement in turn causes a greater displacement between the contacting edges 75 of the metallic contacts 29, allowing the circuit board to proceed through without contact. In the circuit board is formed a channel 83 located at an established distance from the leading edge 85 of the circuit board. Once the circuit board has been inserted within the connector a given distance, the inwardly extending peripheral edges 43, 43' become aligned with this channel and cause the outward pressure created by the initial insertion of the circuit board to be released, allowing the opposing members 21, 21 and upstanding sides 55 to snap back to their original position as described in FIG. 2, and now shown in FIG. 4. Because the original displacement between the contacting edges 75 of the contacts 29 was less than the width of the now inserted printed circuit board, contact is therefore accomplished. For reasons of clarification, the contact edges 79 of the printed circuit board are shown in phantom, so that the positions of the remaining components of the connector may be seen.
In FIGS. 5 through 10 are shown the steps in the procedure for replacing one of the resilient metallic contacts 29. As was explained in the background of this invention, the connector may be positioned in a variety of electrical methods known in the industry. However, this invention is of particular interest to mounting the connector on a mounting board of insulative material, with the extending bottom portions of the resilient metallic contacts being attached, i.e., soldered or wire wrapped to the contacting ends of another circuit arrangement. In FIG. 5 is shown the connector 15 positioned on the mounting board 85. The columnated projection 53 of the base portion 35' of the right opposing member 21 is shown in its relative position within the aperture 65 of the base-spacing member 25. This projection is held within the aperture by a locking means created by the upstanding rib 73' acting against the interior wall 26 of the base spacing member. A hooklike tool 91 is inserted into the lateral groove 71 of the right opposing member 2l' as the initial step in removing a contact. Lateral outward pressure exerted by the tool forces the upstanding rib 73' to collapse, thereby allowing the right opposing member 21 to be withdrawn, as shown in FIG. 6.
It should be noted that because removal of one of the opposing members is accomplished in an almost vertical movement, it is therefore possible to mount adjacent connectors in a substantially close relationship.
FIG. 7 shows the connector with the right opposing member removed. A cutting tool 93 severs the extending bottom portion 63 of the metallic contact 29 at a point between the terminal connection 87 and the mounting board 85. A clamping tool 95 grasps the upper portion 57 of the contact and proceeds to withdraw it from the connector, as is shown in FIG. 8. In FIG. 9 is shown the insertion of the new contact 29 into the connector. The contact is inserted until its boxlike projection 61 seats itself within the boxlike indentation 67 thereby restricting any further downward movement of the contact. Once this seating has been accomplished, the right opposing member 21' is returned to its original position within the connector and the extending bottom portion 63 is electrically joined to the corresponding terminal end 89 of the other circuit. In this case, soldering is shown as the method for completing this connection, using soldering gun 91. The remaining terminal ends in this FIG., as well as in FIGS. 5 through 9, are shown only partially to avoid confusion.
While there has been shown and described what is at present considered the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention as defined by the appended claims.
1. An electrical connector having an insulating body having a spaced array of resilient metallic contacts, said insulating body comprising:
two opposing members, each having a base portion having means for engaging a base-spacing member, a substantially upright side portion, and an upper portion having means for receiving the upstanding sides of a U-shaped spring;
a base-spacing member having means for engaging said resilient metallic contacts, thereby aligning and retaining said contacts within said electrical connector, and means for receiving said base portions of said opposing members; and
a U-shaped spring having upstanding sides for engaging said receiving means of said upper portions of said opposing members.
2. The electrical connector of claim 1 in which said means for engaging said base-spacing member comprises a plurality of spaced columnated projections.
3. The electrical connector of claim 1, in which said means for receiving said upstanding sides of said U-shaped spring comprises a plurality of spaced uncinated receiving members.
4. The electrical connector of claim 1, in which'said means for engaging said resilient metallic contacts comprises a plu- 5 rality ofspaced boxlike indentations.
5. The electrical connector of claim 1, in which said means for receiving said base portions of said opposing members comprises a plurality of spaced apertures.
6. The electrical connector of claim 1, in which each of said resilient metallic contacts has a boxlike projection to mate with said corresponding boxlike indentation of said base-spacing member.
7. The electrical connector of claim 11, in which said U- shaped spring has a plurality of spaced openings for allowing the upper portions of said resilient metallic contacts to fit within said U-shaped spring, thereby forming means of protection for said contacts.
8. The electrical connector of claim 2, in which each of said columnated projections of said base portions of said opposing members has a collapsible end portion, said end portion having an upstanding rib, thereby forming a locking means within said receiving means of said base-spacing member.
9. The electrical connector of claim 3, in which each of said spaced uncinated receiving members has an inwardly extending peripheral edge, thereby prohibiting contact between said resilient metallic contacts and a printed circuit board until insertion of said circuit board within said electrical connector is substantially completed.
110. An electrical connector having an insulating body hav ing a spaced array of resilient metallic contacts, said insulating body comprising: 4
two opposing members, each having a base portion having a plurality of spaced columnated projections, a substantially upright side portion, and an upper portion having a plurality of uncinated receiving members; base-spacing member having a plurality of boxlike indentations for receiving corresponding boxlike projec tions of said resilient contacts, thereby aligning and retaining said metallic contacts within said electrical connector, and a plurality of apertures for receiving said spaced columnated projections of said opposing mem bers;
a U-shaped spring having upstanding sides for engaging said uncinated receiving members of said opposing members, and a plurality of spaced openings thereby allowing the upper portion of said metallic contacts to fit within said spring, said spring thereby forming a protection means for said metallic contacts.