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Publication numberUS3668605 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 6, 1972
Filing dateAug 10, 1970
Priority dateAug 10, 1970
Publication numberUS 3668605 A, US 3668605A, US-A-3668605, US3668605 A, US3668605A
InventorsAlbert Guy D
Original AssigneeNorth Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-point program plug and receptacle connector arrangement having positive alignment prior to positive mating
US 3668605 A
Abstract
A multi-point connector arrangement including separable plug and receptacle members each having a frame portion with a selected profile camber to insure full positive engagement of the contact elements during coupling, and having cooperable interengaging portions adapted to effect proper alignment during mating of the plug and receptacle members.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 3,668,665 Albert June 6, 1972 [54] MULTI-POINT PROGRAM PLUG AND 3,140,905 7/1964 Trotter et al .13 12/320 [72] lnventorz Guy D. Albert, Galion, Ohio [73] Assignee: North Electric Company, Galion. Ohio [22] Filed Aug. 10,1970

[21] Appl, No: 62,434

[52] U.S. Cl. ..339/18 B, 339/65, 339/75 M [51] Int. Cl .,I-I01r /00, l-lOlr 13/54 [58] FieldofSearch 339/4, 17 M, 18R, 18 B, R, 339/45 M, 61, 65, 66, R, 75 M, 91 R, 198 H, 198 K, 198 P; 317/101 C, 101 B, 101 D, 101 DH, 101 F [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,692,064 11/1928 Trogner ..339/4 UX E E: E. z E I:

RECEPTACLE CONNECTOR ARRANGEMENT HAVING POSITIVE ALIGNMENT PRIOR TO POSITIVE MATING FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS France ..339/18 B Great Britain .339/18 B Primary Examiner-David H. Brown Axsixtanr Examinvr-Lawrcncc J. Staah .4Mommy-Johnson Ibicnncr, Fmnch. Verbmk S; agnm 8 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUH s 1912 3,668,605

SHEET 10F 4 FIG. lb

FIG. la.

INVENTOR GUY D. ALBERT ATTORNEYS PATENTED 5 I972v SHEET 3 0F 4 INVENTOR GUY D. ALBERT m wE BY 7%, aw JQW/ MJ/ ATTORNEYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of Invention The present invention relates generally to a multi-point connector arrangement, and more particularly to such an arrangement for effecting positive mating relation between a plug having a plurality of connector projections thereon and a receptacle adapted to selectively receive each of the connector projections.

2. Description of Prior Art It has been a problem when mating conventional male and female elements of a pin type connector to ensure proper alignment of the respective housing portions prior to actual mating of the male and female pin connectors. It can readily be understood that if the respective housing portions supporting the male pins and female receptacles are not aligned, proper contact of the pins cannot be assured;-and of equal importance, the force used in attempting mating of the nonaligned elements may damage them.

It has also been a problem in multi-point connectors to ensure positive contact of all of the male pins with their corresponding female receptacles. Conventional multi-point connectors employ separable housing members which are secured at mating edge portions such that the force required to mate the pins and receptacles is usually applied at the edges of the housings and not in their centers. Accordingly, the pins along the edges of the housing members are ensured of positive contact, while those pins centrally located may not be properly received in positive contact with the corresponding receptacles.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention seeks to overcome the problems associated with the prior art multi-point connectors by providing on one of a pair of housing members supporting male pins and female receptacles to be positively mated, a pair of laterally spaced locating member means adapted to hingedly engage a pivot rod supported by the other of the housing members. An alignment tongue is secured to the housing member supporting the pivot rod and serves to engage a cross plate fixed to the locating member means to urge the pivot rod into firm engage ment with the locating member means to ensure proper alignment of the male and female elements of the connector prior to effecting actual contact therebetween. The housing members include frame bars which are cambered, when considered in side profile, to effect a biased engagement of the centrally disposed connector pins with their associated receptacles when the housing members are brought into positive interconnection.

Accordingly, one of the primary objects of the present invention is to provide a multi-point pin type connector which includes novel means insuring proper alignment of the pins with their corresponding receptacles before mating is effected.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a multi-point connector including novel means to ensure positive contact between all the male pin elements and their corresponding female receptacles of the connector, both those along the edge of the housing members and those disposed centrally thereof.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a multi-point connector as described wherein the means for insuring proper alignment of the connector pins and associated receptacles includes locating members adapted to engage a pivot rod, and an alignment tongue adapted to engage a cross plate in order to urge the pivot rod into positive engagement with the locating member.

According to one feature of the invention the novel connector device of the present disclosure finds useful application in effecting the connection of programs to the control circuitry of associated machinery to which the female receptacle of the connector may be fixedly attached. In one embodiment, a different male plug is provided for each different program to be used, and in reprogramming the associated machinery, it is only necessary to use the particular one of the male connectors which has the desired program.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention, together with the organization and manner of operation thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGS. la and 1b illustrate a female receptacle and male plug, respectively, each having mounting frame bars and associated alignment mechanism in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 2a, 2b, and 20 show three successive stages of operation of the alignment mechanism during coupling of the female receptacle and male plug, portions being broken away for clarification;

FIGS. 3a, 3b, and 30 show the operation of the mounting frame bars in ensuring positive contact of all of the pin and receptacle elements; and

FIGS. 4a and 4b show the handle mechanism used in closing and opening the connected connector members.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. la and lb, there is illustrated a female receptacle connector member, indicated generally at 100, and a plug or male connector member indicated generally at 101. The female connector member includes a housing structure comprising a pair of parallel laterally spaced frame bars 10 and 12. Secured along the rearward surface of each frame bar 10 and 12 are individual forty pin female receptacles l4, 16, each receptacle having two 20 pin sections 14a, 14b; 16a, 16b, each pin section extending outwardly on opposite sides of the frame bars 10 and 12. A number of such receptacle sections may be secured longitudinally along the frame bars 10 and 12 depending upon the number of pin connections desired between the female and male connector members 100 and 101.

The male connector member 101 is of the same general size as the female connector member 100 and similarly includes a housing structure comprising parallel laterally spaced frame bars 18 and 20. The frame bars 18 and 20 support a plurality of male plugs, each plug having two pin sections 22a, b; 23a, b, in similar fashion to the mounting of the female receptacles l4 and 16 on the frame bars 10 and 12. The housing structure of the male connector member 101 includes a casing 24 which serves to enclose a wired electrical program, or electrical cable, associated with the male plugs. The casing 24 has an upper end plate 26 which is generally coplanar with the upper ends of the spaced frame bars 18 and 20. As will become more apparent hereinbelow, the male pins on the male plug sections 22a and b, 23a and b of the male connector member 101 are adapted to be received and connectively coupled to the female receptacle sections 14a and b, 16a and b of the female connector member 100. The present invention insures proper registration of the male plugs and female receptacles and insures positive contact therebetween during coupling or connection of the male and female connector members.

The male connector member 101 includes alignment mechanism means, indicated generally at 28, secured to the upper end plate 26 of the casing 24. The alignment mechanism means 28 serves both as a means by which the female connector member 100 can be hingedly connected to the male connector 101, and a means cooperative with the female connector member to insure proper alignment of the male plugs and female receptacles during coupling. The alignment means 28 comprises a bracket 30 having a planar base portion 32 and parallel upstanding end flanges 34 and 36. The

base portion 32 is secured to the upper end plate 26 of casing 24 by screws 37 The end flanges 34 and 36 support a pivot pin or rod 38 disposed perpendicular to the longitudinal axes of the upper ends of the frame bars 18 and 20 lying in a plane parallel to and spaced outwardly from the forward surfaces of the frame bars 18 and 20 as shown in FIG. 2c.

The alignment mechanism means 28 includes an alignment tongue 40 having a rearward portion 42, suitably secured to the base portion 32 of bracket 30 by screws 43, and a forward portion 44 lying in a plane inclined upwardly relative to the rearward portion 42. The upward inclination of portion 44 is from a bend line 45 disposed rearwardly of the alignment rod 38 as will become more apparent hereinbelow.

The female receptacle connector member 100 includes locating means, indicated generally at 46, adapted for cooperation with the pivot rod 38 to effect a hinge connection between the female connector member and the male connector member 101. The locating means 46 includes a pair of laterally spaced locating members which preferably comprise upper end portions of the frame bars and 12 extending above the female receptacles 14, 16 as shown in FIG. 1a. The spaced locating members have aligned transverse slots or grooves 48 and 50 therein which are adapted to receive the alignment rod 38 therein.

The upper ends of the spaced frame bars 10 and 12 comprising the locating members of locating means 46 have a cross plate 52 suitably secured to the rearward surfaces thereof in transverse relation to the longitudinal axes of the upper ends of the frame bars 10 and 12. The cross plate 52 has a vertical dimension extending from the upper ends of the frame bars 10 and 12 downwardly such that its lower edge is spaced vertically above the upper end of the female receptacles l4, 16. The cross plate 52 preferably extends laterally outwardly from the frame bars 10 and 12 with its outer ends being provided with holes 54 for securing the female connector member 100 to a suitable support frame before the male connector 101 and the female connector 100 are connected together as described below. A similar cross plate 51 is attached to the other end of mounting bars 10 and 12 for use in attaching the female connector 100 to the same support frame.

The lateral dimension of the forward portion 44 of the alignment tongue 40 is such that the forward upwardly inclined portion of the alignment tongue may be received between the laterally spaced frame bars 10 and 12 of the female connector member 100 and between the lower edge of the cross bar 52 and the upper edge of the female receptacles 14, 16.

Noting FIGS. 2a-c, wherein end flange 34 of bracket 30 is broken away for clarification, positioning of the male plug connector member 10] approximately perpendicular to the plane of the female connector member 100, FIG. 2a, allows the pivot rod 38 to be readily received within the aligned grooves 48 and 50 of the locating means 46. With the male connector member 101 positioned with its pivot rod 38 received within the aligned grooves 48 and 50, the male connector member may be rotated downwardly with the alignment tongue 40 being received between the cross plate 52 and female receptacles 14, 16, FIG. 2b. As noted, the forward portion 44 of the alignment tongue 40 is inclined upwardly relative to the upper end 26 of casing 24. The angle of upward inclination is established to cause the upper surface of the forward portion of the alignment tongue 40 to engage the lower edge surface of the cross plate 52 and urge the male connector member 101 downwardly such that the pivot rod 38 of the male connector member 101 is firmly seated in the bottoms of the aligned grooves 48 and 50. The pivot rod 38 is disposed forwardly of the associated frame bars 18 and 20 (FIG. 1b) and cooperates with the aligned grooves 48 and 50 (FIG. la) in the frame bars 10 and 12 to assist in the alignment of the male projecting elements on the male plug sections 220 and b, 23a and b with the corresponding female receptacle sections 14a and b, 16a and b of the female connector member 100 when the male and female connector members are brought into mating relation.

FIGS. 3a-c illustrate schematically the side profile configurations of the frame bars 10 and 12 of the female connector member and the frame bars 18 and 20 of the male connector member 101. The side profile configurations of the pairs of frame bars are adapted to effect a biased engagement of the centrally disposed connector pins of the male plug sections 22a and b, 23a and b with the corresponding female receptacle sections and b, 16a and b when the male and female connector members are brought into positive interconnection. In the showing of FIG. 3a the male connector 101 has been properly engaged with the female connector 100 in the manner shown in FIG. 2b, and has been moved in the direction of the female connector 100 so that the upper pins of the two connectors are in mating relation. Noting FIG. 3b, the lower one-half length of each of the frame bars 10 and 12 of the female connector member 100 is cambered rearwardly from a bend line 55 disposed approximately intermediate its length. Similarly, the frame bars 18 and 20 of the male connector member 101 are cambered rearwardly from bend lines 56 disposed generally intermediate their lengths. With the frame bars l0, l2, l8 and 20 having their lower half lengths cambered rearwardly as shown in F IG. 3b, bringing the respective frame bars of the male and female connector members 100 and 101 together such that they are in substantially full contacting engagement along their mating surfaces as shown in FIG. 3c will effect the desired positive contact of the male pin elements and female receptacle elements throughout the full length of the multipoint connector arrangement. It has been found that with the respective female and male connector members 100 and 101 having longitudinal lengths of approximately about 8.5 inches, providing a rearward camber of onesixteenth inch for the lower half lengths of the frame bars 10 and 12, and a rearward camber of approximately about oneeighth inch for the lower half lengths of the frame bars 18 and 20 will provide the desired biased engagement of the intermediate length portions of the frame bars.

Noting FIG. 4, the multi-point connector arrangement including the female connector member 100 and male connector member 101 includes means for maintaining the respective separable male and female connector members in locked coupled relation. To this end, the casing 24 of the male connector member 101 has a latch handle 58 secured to the rearward surface thereof, the latch handle being of a known type commercially available from the Camloc Fastener Corporation of Paramus, New Jersey. The latch handle 58 pivotally supports a locking lever 60 having a lower hooked end portion 62. The hooked end 62 of the locking lever 60, FIG. 4a, is adapted to matingly interconnect with a hook end 64 provided on the forward end of a catch bracket 66 which is afiixed in generally normal relation to the lower ends of the depending frame bars 10 and 12 of the female connector member 100. It can be seen that when the male connector member 101 is brought into mating engagement with the female connector member 100, with the locking lever 60 in a generally vertical position as considered in FIG. 4a, further pivotal movement of the locking lever toward the vertical position will cause the hooked portions 62 and 64 of the locking lever 60 and catch bracket 66, respectively to apply a force which urges the pins of male connector 101 into positive engagement with the receptacle pins of female connector 100. The locking lever 60 has a shoulder portion 68 which serves to abut the outer surface of the hook portion 64 of the catch bracket 66 and assist in separating the male and female connector members 101 and 100 when disconnecting them, as shown in FIG. 4b.

Having thus described the elements comprising a preferred embodiment of a multi-point arrangement in accordance with the present invention, it can be seen that the alignment mechanism means 28 insures an exact alignment of the male pin elements of the plug sections with the associated female receptacle sections 14, 16 of the female connector member when effecting coupling therebetween. Additionally, the rearward camber provided on the lower half length portions of the frame bars 10, 12, 18 and 20 of the female and male connector members assures that the male plug elements intermediate the length of the male connector member 101 will be properly and completely coupled to the associated female receptacle sections intermediate the length of the female connector member 100 during interengagement and coupling of the male and female connector members as described While a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it will be understood to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. For example a single frame bar could be used on each connector, the vertical median of the cross plate on the female connector being coincident with the vertical median of the frame bar, the tongue on the male connector having two forward portions, each engaging the cross plate on either side of the single frame bar I claim:

1. A multi-point connector arrangement comprising interconnectable plug means and mating receptacle means, said plug means including first frame bar means, first connector means supported by said first frame bar means, said receptacle means including second frame bar means, second connector means supported by said second frame bar means, said first and second connector means being adapted for mating relationship upon interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means, and alignment means operatively associated with said plug and receptacle means for effecting proper alignment of said first and second connector means during interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means; said alignment means including pivot rod and locating member means cooperable to establish selective relative positioning of said first and second connector means whereby to effect said proper alignment thereof, and alignment tongue means associated with said pivot rod to engage said locating member means in a manner to continually urge said pivot rod in a direction to positively and firmly engage said locating member means during interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means.

2. A multi-point connector arrangement as defined in claim 1 wherein said locating member means includes at least one locating member having a locating slot therein adapted to receive said pivot rod, and including plate means supported by said locating member and cooperable with said alignment tongue means to urge said pivot rod into the full depth of said locating slot.

3. A multi-point connector arrangement comprising interconnectable plug means and mating receptacle means, said plug means including first frame bar means, first connector means supported by said first frame bar means, said receptacle means including second frame bar means, second connector means supported by said second frame bar means, said first and second connector means being adapted for mating relationship upon interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means, and alignment means operatively associated with said plug and receptacle means for effecting proper alignment of said first and second connector means during interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means, said alignment means including pivot rod and locating member means cooperable to establish selective relative positioning of said first and second connector means whereby to effect said proper alignment thereof, said first and second frame bar means being adapted for substantially full length engagement during interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means, said first and second frame bar means having diverse relative camber therebetween when in relaxed positions such that full length engagement of said first and second frame bar means effects a biased engagement of the intermediate length portions thereof to effect positive connection of said first and second connector means during said mating relationship.

4. The multi-point connector arrangement of claim 3 wherein each of said first and second frame bar means has a lower length portion cambered rearwardly relative to the upper length portion thereof.

5. The multi-point connector arrangement of claim 4 wherein said first and second frame bar means have their lower one-half length portions cambered rearwardly relative to their respective upper one-half length portions.

6. A multi-point connector arrangement as defined in claim 3 including alignment tongue means associated with said pivot rod and adapted for cooperation with said locating member means to effect said selected relative positioning of said first and second connector means during interconnection of said plug and mating receptacle means.

7. A multi-point connector arrangement as defined in claim 6 including latch means adapted to releasably connect said plug and mating receptacle means such that full length engagement of said first and second frame bar means is efiected upon interconnection of said plug and receptacle means.

8. A multipoint connector arrangement comprising interconnectable plug means and mating receptacle means, said plug means including a first pair of laterally spaced frame bars, first connector means supported by said first pair of frame bars, said receptacle means including a second pair of laterally spaced frame bars, second connector means supported by said second pair of frame bars, said first and second connector means being adapted for mating relationship upon interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means, and alignment means operatively associated with said plug and receptacle means for effecting proper alignment of said first and second connector means during interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means, said alignment means including pivot rod and locating member means cooperable to establish selective relative positioning of said first and second connector means to effect said proper alignment thereof, said pivot rod being supported by one of said pairs of frame bars in transverse relation to the longitudinal axes thereof, said locating member means being defined by the upper end portions of the other of said pairs of frame bars which have aligned locating slots therein to receive said pivot rod therein, alignment tongue means including an alignment tongue supported by said one of said pairs of frame members, and a cross-plate secured to said upper end portions of said other of said pairs of frame bars in generally transverse relation thereto, said cross-plate being engageable with said alignment tongue to urge said pivot rod to the full depths of said locating slots upon interconnecting of said plug and receptacle means.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/341, 439/376, 361/740
International ClassificationH01R13/629
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/62933
European ClassificationH01R13/629L
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 21, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: ALCATEL USA, CORP.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:U.S. HOLDING COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004827/0276
Effective date: 19870910
Owner name: ALCATEL USA, CORP.,STATELESS
Mar 19, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: U.S. HOLDING COMPANY, INC., C/O ALCATEL USA CORP.,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST. EFFECTIVE 3/11/87;ASSIGNOR:ITT CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004718/0039
Effective date: 19870311
Oct 24, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: ITT CORPORATION 320 PARK AVE. NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:NORTH ELECTRIC COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:004627/0492
Effective date: 19771013
Oct 24, 1986AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: ITT CORPORATION 320 PARK AVE. NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Effective date: 19771013
Owner name: NORTH ELECTRIC COMPANY