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Publication numberUS3611261 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateMay 4, 1970
Priority dateMay 8, 1969
Publication numberUS 3611261 A, US 3611261A, US-A-3611261, US3611261 A, US3611261A
InventorsGregory Kenneth Laurence
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connectors
US 3611261 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor Appl. No.

Filed Patented Assignee Priority Kenneth Laurence Gregory Luton, England May 4, 1970 Oct. 5, 197 1 General Motors Corporation Detroit, Mich.

May 8, 1969 Great Britain ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS Int. Cl

Field of Search '6 Claims, 10 Drawing Figs.

U.S. Cl......

339/91 R, 339/113 R, 340/252 P, 340/38] [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,112,137 3/1938 Brach 340/352 P 3,467,942 9/1969 Dell et al. 339/9l R Primary Examiner-Joseph H. McGlynn Attorneys-W. A. Schuetz and W. E. Finken ABSTRACT: An electrical connector comprises two contactbearing blocks connectable together, one of the blocks has at least one barbed resilient limb, the other at least one apertured lug. One limb and one lug each have a contact. Engagement of the limbs by the lug upon passage of the barb through the aperture brings these contacts into engagement. There contacts complete an electrical circuit for continuity testing to check the proper connection together of the blocks and thus afford a check on the circuits completed through the block contacts.

PATENTED GET 5 I97] SHEET 1 BF 3 Home y PATENT ED m 5 I97! SHEEI 2 BF 3 lnvenlor Attorney ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS This invention relates to electrical connectors, such as may be used in wiring harness assemblies in motor vehicles.

According to the invention an electrical connector comprises two blocks of insulating material such as plastics, each block having contacts engageable with those in the other block; one of the blocks having a resilient limb for engagement by an apertured lug in the other block, and said limb having at its free end a barb for engagement with an end wall of the lug afier passage through the aperture therein to connect the two blocks together; one of the blocks having a contact on said limb engageable with a contact in the aperture when the barb on the limb has passed through the aperture and is in engagement with the end wall of the lug.

There may be two resilient limbs respectively engageable by apertured lugs on the other block, each limb having at its free end a barb for engagement with an end wall of a lug after passage through the aperture therein to connect the two blocks together, and only one of the limbs has a contact engageable with a contact in one of the apertures when the barb on that limb has passed through the aperture and is in engagement with the end wall of the lug.

Preferably the contact on the limb and the contact in the aperture are strip contacts.

Conveniently, the limb contact is held out of engagement with the aperture contact by defonnation of the limb as the barb passes through the aperture, and the contacts engage only when the barb is in engagement with the end wallof the lug.

The appended claims define the scope of the monopoly claimed. How the invention can be performed is hereinafter particularly described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an end view of one block of insulating material forming part of an electrical connector according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the block shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged section along the line IIl-III of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an end view of the other block of insulating material forming part of an electrical connector according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the block shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view on the line Vl-Vl of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view, to a larger scale, of a limb and contact of the block shown in FIG. 1-3;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an apertured lug and contact of the block shown in FIGS. 4-6;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another embodiment of an electrical connector according to the invention; and

FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective view of contact members of the connector shown in FIG. 9.

The electrical connector shown in FIGS. 1-8 includes two rectangular blocks 2, 4 of a plastics insulator material. One of the blocks 2, (FIGS. 1-3), has a number of contact pins 6 extending from one face thereof. The block 2 has two resilient limbs 8, 10 extending from opposite sides thereof in alignment with the pins, but extending beyond them. Each limb has a free end with a barb l2, l4 thereon. The other block 4, (FIGS. 4-6), contains a number of sockets 16 which extend into the block from one face thereof. The block 4 also has two apertured lugs 18, 20 on opposite sides of the block, and with the apertures 22, 24 extending in alignment with the sockets 16. One of the limbs 8, and one of the lugs 18 and its aperture 22, are wider that the other limb 10, lug 20 and aperture 24, so that the blocks 2, 4 can be connected together in one way only.

The limb 8 as best seen'in FIG. 7 has a groove 26 along a part of its outer surface with undercut edges 28 and in this groove there is fitted a flat contact strip 30 which slots into the undercut edges 28, and hasa narrower end portion 32 which is stepped so as to lie along the unslotted portion of the outer surface of the limb 8 with its end adjacent the barb 12. The contact strip 30 has a detent 34 thereon which fits into a recess 36 in the groove 26 to retain the contact in the groove.

A flat contact strip 38 is fitted in similar fashion in a groove 40 in the outer wall of aperture 22 in lug 18 as best seen in FIG. 8. The contact 38 has a detent 42 which fits into a recess 44 in a groove 40, and coacts with undercut edges 46 of the groove to retain the strip in place. Both the contact strips 30 and 38 are resilient enough to be bent when being inserted into their grooves but resume their flat shape once their respective detents 34, 42 have entered the recesses 36, 44.

The blocks are connected together by pushing the barbed ends of the limbs through the apertures in the lugs. Because of the difference in the widths of the respective limbs and lugs it is not possible to assemble the connector wrongly. As the barbs pass through the apertures so they deform and bend the limbs slightly. This bending is sufficient to keep the contact strips 30, 38 out of engagement with one another until the barb 12 has cleared the aperture and is in engagement with the end wall of the lug 18.

The fitting of the contact strips 30, 38 in the limb 8 and aperture 22 affords a simple method of ensuring that the two blocks of the connector are properly united, If the limbs are not pushed home so ensuring proper connection of the blocks, an electrical continuity test on the connector circuits will reveal an open circuit between the contact strips 30 and 38.

In this embodiment the pins 6 and sockets 16 are connected in conventional manner to respective ones of electrical leads (not shown). The contact strips 30 and 38 are, as shown in the drawings, also connected in conventional manner to electrical leads.

FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of an electrical connector according to the invention, and which includes two rectangular blocks 48, 50 of a plastics insulator material. The block 48 has a hollow end portion 52 surrounding three electrical contact pins 54 fitted in the block and to which pins respective leads of a cable 56 can be connected. The block 48 also has an upstanding barb 58 projecting outwardly at right angles to a wall portion 60 of the-hollow end portion 52. A contact 62 is secured on the wall portion 60 and extends around the barb 58 at its junction with the wall portion 60. As best seen in FIG. 10 the contact 62 is formed from a flat strip of metal having a central extension 64 projecting from one end thereof, which extension is bent round for securement, as by crimping, to a lead from the cable 56. At its other end the contact terminates in two spaced-apart fingers 66 and these are bent round to engage the wall portion 60 for fitment of the contact. When the contact is fitted on the wall portion 60 the barb 58 projects between the fingers 66.

The block 50 is a solid block in which are fitted three sockets (not shown) into each of which a respective one of the pins 54 can fit when the blocks are pushed together. Leads from a cable 68 are connectable to the sockets. The block 50 has a forward portion 70 dimensioned to fit snugly into the hollow end portion 52 of the block 48.

The block 50 has a slot 72 in one wall portion 74 of its forward portion 70, and when the blocks are pushed together the contact 62 and barb 58 pass along this slot. A lug 76 with an aperture 78 therein is formed on the wall portion 74 and has a free end portion 80 which extends forwardly of the free end of the forward portion 70. A contact 82 formed from a flat metal plate is bent round so as to fit over the free end portion 80 of the apertured lug 76. The contact 82 has an end portion 84 extending therefrom and this end portion can be bent and crimped around a lead from the cable 68.

When the blocks 48, 50 are pushed together the barb S8 is deflected by the contact 82 and the free end 80 of the lug 76. The wall portion 60 of the hollow end portion 52 of the block 48 has sufficient resilience to allow this deflection of the barb 58, and as a result of this deflection the contact 62 is held away from the contact 82 until the barb 58 has entered the aperture 78 in the lug 76 when it returns to its undeflected position and so brings the contact 62 into engagement with the contact 82.

To ensure correct positioning of the blocks 48, 50 they each have a complementary shaped wall 86, 88 on the hollow portion 60 and the forward portion 70 respectively.

As in the case of the first embodiment described, the contacts 62, 82 in this second embodiment afford a simple method of ensuring that the two blocks of the connector are properly united, as electrical continuity between the contacts 62, 82 is not achieved until the blocks are properly united.

I claim:

1. An electrical connector comprising:

two blocks of electrical insulator material;

a plurality of electrical contacts on said blocks, said contacts on one of said blocks being engageable with said contacts on said other block upon connection together of said blocks;

a resilient limb extending from one of said blocks and terminating in a free end portion;

a barb on said free end portion;

a lug in said other block, having end wall portions and sidewall portions;

a through aperture in said lug defined by said wall portions;

said barb being effective to secure said blocks together upon passage through said aperture and into engagement with one of said wall portions;

two electrical contacts, one in said limb and one on said aperture, said contacts being mutually engageable upon passage of said barb through said aperture whereby said limb is engaged by said lug.

2. An electrical connector comprising:

two blocks of electrical insulator material;

a plurality of electrical contacts on each of said blocks, said contacts on one of said blocks being engageable with said contacts of said other block upon connection together of said blocks;

a resilient limb extending from one of said blocks and terminating in a free end portion;

a barb on said free end portion;

a lug on said other block, having end wall portions and sidewall portions;

a through aperture in said lug defined by said wall portions;

said barb being effective to connect together said blocks upon passage through said aperture and into engagement with one of said wall portions;

two electrical strip contacts, one on said limb and the other on a wall portion of said aperture;

said barb being in contact with at least one of said wall portions during passage through said aperture whereby said barb contact with said wall portion cause deformation of said limb and holds said contact on said limb out of engagement with said contact on said wall portion until said barb has passed through said aperture into engagement with said one wall portion.

3. An electrical connector comprising:

two blocks of electrical insulator material;

a plurality of electrical contacts on each of said blocks, said contacts on one of said blocks being engageable with said contacts of said other block upon connection together of said blocks;

one of said blocks having a hollow end portion surrounding said contacts on said block, said hollow end portion constituting a resilient limb on said block;

the other of said blocks having an end portion with said contacts thereon, said block being so dimensioned as to fit into said limb upon connection together of said blocks;

said limb and said end portion being so shaped as to permit fitment together in one design orientation only;

a barb on said limb;

a bug on said other block, extending beyond and overlying said end portion, and having end wall portions and sidewall portions;

a through aperture in said lug, defined by wall portions;

said barb being efiective to connect together said blocks upon passage through said aperture and into engagement with one of said wall portions;

two electrical strip contacts, one on said limb adjacent said barb, and the other on a wall portion of said aperture, said contacts being mutually engageable upon passage of said barb through said aperture; said limb being deformable upon contact of said barb with said lug until said barb has passed through said aperture whereupon said limb returns to its substantially undeformed shape and said contacts engage one another,

4. An electrical connector as claimed in claim 3 wherein said strip contacts are connectable together to complete an electrical continuity test circuit arranged to test connection together of said connector blocks.

5. An electrical connector comprising:

two blocks of electrical insulator material;

a plurality of electrical connectors on each of said blocks, said contacts on one of said blocks being engageable with said contacts on said other block upon connection together of said blocks;

one of said blocks having two spaced-apart facing limbs extending from said block, each limb terminating in a free end portion;

two barbs, one on each free end portion;

two lugs on said other block, each lug having end wall portions and sidewall portions;

two through apertures, one in each of said lugs, and defined by said wall portions of each said lug;

each one of said barbs being effective to pass through one of said apertures into engagement with one of said wall portions of said lug and connect said blocks;

two electrical strip contacts one on one of said limbs and one on one of said aperture wall portions;

said limb and said aperture having said contacts having cross-sectional shape different from said other limb and aperture, whereby said blocks are connectable together in one design orientation only;

said limb having said strip contact being deformable upon contact of said barb on said limb with said lug having said other strip contact until said barb has passed through said aperture, said deformation being effective to keep said strip contacts out of engagement until said barb has passed through said aperture.

6. An electrical connector as claimed in claim 5, wherein said strip contacts are connectable together to complete an electrical continuity test circuit arranged to test connection together of said connector blocks,

2 3 3 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. $611,261 Dated October 5, 1971 ln tofl Kenneth Laurence Gregory It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Colurm 1, line 8, "in" should read --on-. Column 3, line 46, "cause" should read -causes-. Column 4, line 7, "bug" should read --lug--: line 10, after "by" insert --said--; line 45, after "having" secondoccurrence, insert like Signed and sealed this 9th day of May 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDIIARQ I LFLETCHEFQJR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attestlng Officer Commissioner of Pa tents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4272145 *Oct 22, 1979Jun 9, 1981Ford Motor CompanyConnector lock release
US4449776 *Sep 13, 1982May 22, 1984Pacific Electricord CompanyElectrical connector having opposed locking ramp members
US4452501 *Apr 30, 1982Jun 5, 1984General Motors CorporationElectrical connector with latch terminal
US4507697 *Mar 11, 1983Mar 26, 1985Maurice OzilDevice for indicating the position of printed circuit cards relative to their connectors
US4634204 *Dec 24, 1985Jan 6, 1987General Motors CorporationElectrical connector with connector position assurance/assist device
US4658107 *Dec 24, 1985Apr 14, 1987Emerson Electric Co.Plug assembly and interconnection system
US4787860 *Aug 28, 1987Nov 29, 1988E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyConnector system having combined latch and polarization member
US4811002 *Oct 2, 1987Mar 7, 1989Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaRelative positional relation detecting system
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US4925402 *Oct 21, 1988May 15, 1990Yazaki CorporationConnector with fitting confirmation device
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US7001201 *Oct 8, 2004Feb 21, 2006Action Electronics Co., Ltd.Multi-function electrical connector
US8439698 *Jun 15, 2010May 14, 2013Amrinder Pal Singh SainiLow profile mechanical and electrical accessory connector
US8491332 *Jan 26, 2012Jul 23, 2013Volex PlcSlim C5/C6 coupler
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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/353, 439/489, 340/687, 439/924.1, 439/746, 439/680
International ClassificationH01R13/62, H01R13/641, H01R13/64
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/641, H01R13/62
European ClassificationH01R13/62, H01R13/641