US 3634816 A
Disclosed is an electrical interconnection system for electrically and mechanically connecting together tow printed circuit boards or the like. The system comprises two connector members each molded for proper polarization and each adapted to receive a printed circuit board, one connector member having contact pins therein and the other connector member having contact receptacles therein. Each connector member has selectively positionable keying inserts fastened thereto and arranged in preselected positions to assure that the proper connector members are interconnected with each other.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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connector members each molded for proper polarization and adapted to receive a printed circuit board. one connector her having contact pins therein and the other connector member having contact receptacles therein. Each connector ember has selectively positionable keying inserts fastened ereto and arranged in preselected positions to assure that the proper connector members are interconnected with each other.
PATENTEU JA 1 I9 2 SHEET 1 BF 2 PATENTED JAN! 1 IEIYE SHEET 2 OF 2 CONNECTOR KEYING SYSTEM This invention relates to an interconnection system for electrically interconnecting two printed circuit boards or the like and includes structure for insuring proper mating and matching of circuit board assemblies.
More specifically this invention provides selectively positionable keying means secured to one or both of the connector members to insure proper matching of similar circuit,board assemblies.
The interconnecting of male and female connector devices has been well recognized in the prior art to present the problem of mating matched connector pairs. To accurately mate matched connector pairs, the prior art uses the well known expedient of keying. Such keying provides proper orientation of a connector device containing multiple plug-in elements to insure that that device is received only by the intended connector device containing receptacle elements therein. In this manner it is seen that only the proper receiving device, although similar to others, will, receive the plug-inclements of the mating connector.
Additionally, the prior art has provided polarizing means to insure proper polarization of the mating connector devices. Such means generally employed comprises matching or mating plugs and receptacles, ridges and grooves, and the like. These means are usually provided by molding them into the connector pairs. In this way proper polarization is achieved. The prior art has performed to its intended function, but is limited in use in that once keying and/or polarization is set up for a particular connector, there is no provision for changing the pattern in field use. Moreover, different keying and/or polarization combinations require that a large inventory of combinations of connectors be kept in stock.
In accordance with the present invention, the above problems of the prior art are eliminated by providing an electrical connector having male and female portions each adapted to engagingly cooperate with a plurality of keying in serts to provide a plurality of possible key combinations on the connector members. In this manner. a single connector member or, alternatively, both connector members can be provided with plural keying combinations to provide auto matic differentiation between different wiring combinations or the like with the same connector member. This prevents the possibility of using a pair of connector members with as sociated electrical circuitry which are not designed to be used together and thereby prevent error. Alternatively, should a different connector combination be required in field use, provision is made for changing the keying combination to a new combination.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a con nector keying system capable of assuming a plurality of keying combinations.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a single electrical connector capable of being keyed to a plurality of possible keying combinations.
It is still a further object of this invention to provide a keying system capable of providing from proper polarization of two connector members.
These and still further objects of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings in which there are shown and described an illustrative preferred embodiment of the invention. It is to be understood, however, that the preferred embodiment is not intended to be exhaustive of limitative of the invention and is provided for purposes of illustration in order that others skilled in the art may fully understand the invention, the principles thereof and the manner of applying it in practical use so that they may modify it in various forms, as may be best suited to the conditions of a particular use.
IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the two connector members in an aligned but unmated position;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the keying insert used in the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a partial perspective section view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 and showing in detail an exemplary arrangement of keying inserts;
FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3 but showing the connector members in mating engagement;
FIG. 5 is a partial top section view showing the keying insert arrangement as shown in FIGS. 1 3;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but showing a different arrangement of the keying inserts;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIGS. 5 and 6 but showing another arrangement of the keying inserts; I
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIGS. 5-7 but showing still another arrangement of the keying inserts.
Referring now to FIG. 1 where there is shown a preferred embodiment of the connector keying arrangement in accordance with the present invention, there is shown a printed circuit board 10, commonly called a mother board in the art, secured to a first connector member 12 by suitable fasteners 14. The connector member 12 is made of an insulating material such as diallyl phthalate or other suitable insulating material and has cavities therein throughout its length, however, only representative cavities, as shown at 16, are depicted. Positioned within cavities 16 are receptacles, not shown, electrically conducting and electrically connected to various circuitry on the mother board 10. by methods common in the art, for example, by soldering. The before-mentioned receptacles are adapted to receive pins or posts 18 which are electrically conducting and are mounted within a second connector member 20. Connector member 20 is of similar material as connector member 12. These pins 18 have resilient extensions 22 thereon which are adapted to make electrical contact with various circuitry 24 on printed circuit board 26, commonly called a daughter board in the art. The daughter board 26 is secured to the connector member 20 by suitable fasteners 28.
Connector member 12 has a recessed portion therein generally indicated as at 30. On connector member 20 is a projecting or protruding member 32 which is adapted to matingly fit into recessed portion 30 in connector member 12. Protruding member 32 and recessed portion 30, in the preferred embodiment, are adapted to receive, in combination, up to four keying inserts 34 shown in FIG. 2.
Keying insert 34 comprises three sides of stamped metal such as stainless steel, the sides being mutually perpendicular and the two parallel sides each including a downwardly extending flange portion 36 at one end thereof and outwardly extending fingers 38 extending from the other end thereof.
In FIG. 3 there is shown one of several combinations in securing the keying inserts 34 to connector members 12 and 20. The insert fingers 38 are inserted into apertures 40 as shown in phantom with the ends thereof bent or folded over to secure the insert to the respective connector member. In this position the flange portions are positioned in notched portions 42. The spacing as between either side 44 of projection 32 and the respective sidewalls 46 of recess 30 (see FIGS. 5-8) are such that only one insert will fit therebetween in any one insert space, as also illustrated in FIG. 4. Consequently, in any one keying insert space (there are four in the preferred embodiments as illustrated), a keying insert positioned on projection 32 will preclude one positioned in the same space in recess 30. In this manner a number of keying combinations, for example, as shown in FIGS. 5-8, are possible. With certain keying combinations, for example, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, polarizing is also possible. However, when all inserts are mounted on the same connector member, as in FIGS. 7 and 8, or diagonally mounted in pairs on the same connector member (not illustrated), polarizing can be accomplished by other means, such as tongue 48 and groove 50 as shown in FIG. 1.
As seen in FIG. 1, when the daughter board 26 is assembled to the connector member 20 there is a cutout portion 48 in member 20 on either side of the board 26. This cutout portion allows visual inspection of the apertures 40 thereby enabling visual determination of the particular keying insert spaces being used on projection 32. Also, when the two connector members are assembled together, the notched portions 42 remain visible thereby showing any flanges 36 and, hence, indicating which keying insert spaces on the member 12 are in use. By such visual aids it is possible to determine what keying combination is in use without separating the connector mem bers.
To explain the operation of the inventive device, the connector assembly as shown in FIG. 1 can be provided with many different keying arrangements by providing different keying insert combinations on projection 32 and/or recess 30, four different combinations of which are shown in FIGS. 58. In use, connector members carrying identical mother boards are identically keyed and connector members carrying identical daughter boards are identically keyed, with intended matching mother-daughter board connector members being so keyed for mating engagement with each other. In this manner, a particular daughter board 26 and its connector member 20 can be mated only with its matching mother board and its connector member 12. As can be seen, only one size or configuration of connector member pairs need by manufactured and subsequently keyed for its specific use, Should a change in keying combination be desired, individual inserts 34 may be removed, merely by unbending the end portions of fingers 38, and resecured in different combinations as required. Of course, the number of keying combinations available is a matter of requirement. The present invention therefore provides an inexpensive and foolproof polarization and keying system whereby a supplier is required to retain an inventory of merely one connector unit for a plurality of different keying combinations.
Though the invention has been described with respect to a specific preferred embodiment thereof, many variations and modifications thereof will become immediately apparent to those skilled in the art. it is therefore the intention that the appended claims be interpreted as broadly as possible in view of the prior art to include all such variations and modifications.
1. An electrical connector comprising a first connector member, a second connector member, means associated with said first connector member and said second connector member for mechanically and electrically mating said connector members together, means on said first connector member adapted to receive a first circuit board member, means on said second connector member adapted to receive a second circuit board member, and selectively positionable keying means secured to at least one of said first and second connector members, portions of said keying means being exposed when said first and second connector members are in mated position, said selectively positionable keying means comprising first selectively positionable keying means secured to first connector member, and second selectively positionable keying means secured to said second connector member, said first keying means being independent of and out of contact with any circuit boards associated with and/or received by said connectors.
2. An electrical connector comprising a first connector member, a second connector member, means associated with said first connector member and said second connector member for mechanically and electrically mating said connector members together, means on said first connector member adapted to receive a first circuit board member, means on said second connector member adapted to receive a second circuit board member, and selectively positionable keying means secured to at least one of said first and second connector members, portions of said keying means being exposed when said first and second connector members are in mated position, said selectively positionable keying means comprising first selectively positionable keying means secured to first connector member, second selectively positionable keying means secured to said second connector member wherein said first and second keyin means each include keying inserts.
3. An electrica connector as set forth in claim 2 wherein said keying inserts of said first and second keying means are identical.
4. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 2 wherein said first and second connector members each include plural means for receiving, respectively, said first and second keying inserts in selected positions.
5. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 4 wherein said receiving means each include a plurality of passageways and wherein said keying inserts are provided with fingers adapted to be received within said passageways.
6. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 5 wherein a keying insert secured to one of said connector members is mechanically received by a portion of said receiving means in the other said connector member.
7. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 5 wherein the end portions of said fingers are bent sideways whereby said keying inserts are secured to said connector members.