US 3701076 A
An intercept connector for providing alternative bridging connections between terminals is disclosed in which circuit paths and contact clips are combined on a circuit board in predetermined circuit configurations.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Irish Oct. 24, 1972  INTERCEPT CONNECTOR HAVING 3,235,829 2/1966 Haefele ..339/ 150 B X TWO DIODE MOUNTING HOLES 3,312,927 4/ 1967 Garrett ..339/ 150 B X SEPARATED BY A DIODE 2,512,162 6/1950 Lips ..339/275 B X SUPPORTING RECESS 3,114,080 12/1963 Koda et al. ..317/101 CC 3,153,213 10/1964 Stanwyck ..317/101 CC X  Irish 3,335,328 8/1967 Brackett ..317/101 CP 73 Assi nee: Bell Tele hone Laboratories Incor- 1 g ponted, p Murray Hill, Berkeley FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Heights 1,094,827 12/1960 Germany ..174/68.5  Filed: Dec. 18, 1969 Pf E J h H M G zmary xammer-- osep c ynn  Appl' 886359 Assistant Examiner-Terrell P. Lewis Attorney-R. J. Guenther and Edwin E. Cave  U.S. Cl. ..339/17 C, 317/101 CC, 339/275 B  Int. Cl. ..II0lr 5/04, H05k 1/02 ABSTRACT  Field of Search ..339/17, 275, 150, 151; An interce pt connector for providing alternative 317/101 29/624430 174/685 bridging connections between terminals is disclosed in which circuit paths and contact clips are combined on  References Cited I a circuit board in predetermined circuit configura- UNITED STATES PATENTS tions' Perkin; ..339/150 B X 4 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention This invention pertains to connectors and relates particularly to those which make bridging connections between circuits which appear on neighboring terminals of a terminal block.
2. Description of the Prior Art Bridging connectors of the type considered here are used to intercept and transfer calls made to unassigned telephone numbers. Typically, interception and transfer is made by a bridging connection at the main frame, i.e., the place where wires from the telephone numbers leave the central office. At any given time, a great many telephone lines are not assigned and will require intercept and transfer. As a result, there is a continuous and usually extensive demand for bridging connections. If this demand is to be satisfied at reasonable cost, connectors must be inexpensive to make, central office personnel must be able to make bridging connections quickly and efficiently, and the resulting connections must be reliable.
Accordingly, one object of this invention is to achieve speed, low cost and reliability in handling bridging connections.
Bridging connectors are well known and available in a variety of forms. One, for example, commonly called an intercept connector, comprises a number of contact clips which are mounted on a printed circuit board and interconnected by circuit paths. While available intercept connectors are generally satisfactory for specific applications, none has heretofore offered alternatives in the kind of bridging connection it provides, i.e., a
. short circuit or a diode bridging connection.
Accordingly, another object of this invention is to efficiently achieve variety in the kind of bridging connection which a single intercept connector can provide.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to a preferred embodiment of this invention, an intercept connector for alternatively providing either a short circuit or diode bridging connection includes contact clips for engaging terminals on a terminal block, a circuit board supporting the contact clips in a row, a surface area on the circuit board defining a diode mounting location, two diode mounting holes located within the bounds of the aforesaid surface area, circuit paths interconnecting the connector clips in predetermined circuit configurations and a circuit path segment bonded to the circuit board and extending from the edge of one diode mounting hole to the edge of the other. 1
According to one feature of this invention, alternative bridging connections are made available in a single intercept connector by superimposing a short circuiting circuit path segment over the mounting position for a diode.
According to another feature of this invention, the character of the bridging connection is efficiently changed by cutting a recess in the aforesaid surface area to remove the short circuit and then installing a diode in the mounting space formed by the recess.
I A better understanding of these and other features of this invention will be aided by the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an intercept connector made in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the intercept connector illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an intercept connector illustrating an alternative form of the intercept connector shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an end elevation view taken in section along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an end elevation view taken in section along the line 5-5 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of a contact clip in the form it appears when first blanked from flat stock;
FIG. 7 is an elevation view with portions broken away and illustrating an intercept connector mounted on a terminal block; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION An intercept connector 10, as illustrated in FIG. 1, comprises contact clips 11, a circuit board 12, a diode mounting area 13, diode mounting holes 14 and circuit paths 15.
The circuit board 12 is a modified rectangularly shaped insulating board made from material such as fiberglass epoxy. As shown in FIG. 1, the comers are sheared away on one edge for ease in handling while six notches 16 are cut in the other edge. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the comers are sheared asymmetrically. With an asymmetrical shape, particular bridge connections can be visually identified when the intercept connector is installed. As best seen in FIG. 3, the notches 16 are arranged in series and each pair is cut a little deeper than its neighbor. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, conductor ribbons 17, which begin at the edge of each notch 16, are located in pairs on either side of the circuit board 12. As shown in FIG. 2, each pair of ribbons 17 is perforated with an aperture 18. Finally, the ribbons 17 are selectively interconnected to each other by the circuit paths 15. The circuit paths 15 and ribbons 17 are conductors of electricity and are conveniently formed by conventional printed circuit techniques.
As seen in FIGS. 1 and 5, a contact clip 11 is located in each notch 16 and soldered to a pair of ribbons 17. As shown in FIG. 5, each contact clip 11 is a unitary element having a spring loop 20 at one end, a locking hook 21 at the other end. and a pair of tabs 22 in the middle.
As best seen in FIG. 1, each spring loop 20 is turned up and bifurcated at its free end to form two contact fingers. In use, the bifurcated ends of a spring loop 20 grip a terminal to make a mechanical and electrical connection. The turned up ends preserve the terminal surfaces, while bifurcation permits the spring loop 20 to engage the terminal at two independent positions, thereby tending to improve electrical contact or compensate for misaligned or irregular terminals.
The locking hooks 21, as best seen in FIG. 5, attach the. contact clips 11 to the circuit board 12. Each is U- shaped, fits in a notch 16 and engages the associated ribbons 17 to form a mechanical and electrical connection. Also, each includes a locking flap 23 which extends into an aperture 18 and, when bent over, locks the contact clip 11 to the circuit board 12. Furthermore, the locking flap 23 helps to inhibit movement of the contact clip 11 when it is installed on or removed from a terminal.
The tabs 22, as best seen in FIG. 5, are located between the spring loop 20 and the locking hook 21 on either side of the contact clip 11. When the intercept connector 10 is inserted over a line of terminals, the tab 22 guide the terminals into the spring loops 20 and hold them in place when the intercept connector 10 is seated. Consequently, the intercept connector 10 is restrained against sliding movement and thereby prevented from causing false connections or breaking existing connections. While two tabs 22 are shown on each contact clip 11, one can be made to serve equally as well.
Each contact clip 11, as can be seen from FIG. 6, is designed for fabrication from a single piece of flat stock. The stock material must be electrically conducting and phosphor bronze has proved to be acceptable. As can be seen from FIGS. and 6, the contact form is first blanked from the flat stock and then bent into the illustrated configuration.
The intercept connector 10, when installed on a terminal block having rows of terminals, usually engages all of the terminals in a row. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7, for example, parallel rows of terminals 30 are disposed on opposite sides of a terminal block 31. When the intercept connector is installed, as shown in FIG. 7, the tabs 22 speed installation by guiding the terminals 30 up under the lips of the spring loops 20. Thereafter, as can-be seen from FIGS. 7 and 8, the tabs 22 contribute to circuit reliability by limiting side to side sliding of the intercept connector 10, thereby preventing accidental disengagement or cross connection.
' Alternative bridging connections are readily obtained with the disclosed intercept connector 10. As can be seen by comparing FIGS. 1 and 3, a circuit segment 26 and a recess 27 occupy superimposed positions on the surface area 13. Generally, the surface area 13 is bounded on either side by the top of the ribbons l7 and the edge of the circuit board 12, respectively, and is bounded on either end by a hypothetical line projecting along the inner edges of the two notches 16 which are second in from each end, respectively.
Both the circuit segment 26 and the recess 27 are located between the diode mounting holes 14. The circuit segment 26, however, extends from the edge of one hole 14 to the edge of the other. Consequently, terminals 30, which are bridged by the configuration shown in FIG. 1, will be linked by a short circuit.
In order to change the character of the connection from a short circuit to a diode bridge, for example, only two simple steps are required. First, the recess 27 is cut in the circuit board 12 through the circuit segment 26. Conversion is then completed by mechanically and electrically installing a diode 28 in the mounting holes 14 d ec ss 27.
A? illust rated in FIG. 4, the recess 27 may conveniently be a cup having a preferred depth greater than half the thickness of the circuit board 12. Alternatively, however, it can be an aperture or window cut through the circuit board 12. In either case it performs a dual function, i.e., it removes a portion of the circuit segment 26 when it is cut, thereby opening up the short circuit, and it provides a protected pocket in which the diode 28 may be mechanically mounted.
In conclusion, an intercept connector has been disclosed which is capable of quick installation, ease of use and reliable service. Furthermore, it isinexpensive to make and is readily converted from one form of bridge connection to another. While only one embodiment of the invention has been illustrated, it will be understood that the disclosed embodiment is only illustrative of the principles of the invention and many other embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art which falls within the scope of the invention.
1. An intercept connector for making predetermined connections between telephone lines fastened to a terminal block including a row of contact clips for engaging terminals on said terminal block, a circuit board supporting said contact clips, a surface area on said circuit board defining a diode mounting location, two diode mounting holes located on said circuit board in said surface area, and circuit paths disposed on said circuit board and interconnecting said contact clips in predetermined circuit configurations CHARAC- TERIZED IN THAT said two diode mounting holes are separated by a diode supporting recess.
2. An intercept connector in accordance with claim 1 wherein said recess has a depth in excess of one half of the thickness of said circuit board.
3. An intercept connector in accordance with claim 3 wherein said recess has a partially cylindrical cross section.
4. An intercept connector in accordance with claim 1 wherein said recess extends through said circuit board.