US 3714617 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Bright et al.
[ 1 Jan. 30, 1973  SNAP IN POLARIZING MEMBER FOR ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS  inventors: Edward J. Bright, Bainbridge; LeRoy W. Fairbairn, Sidney, both ofN.Y.
 Assignee: The Bendix Corporation 22 Filed: Sept. 28, 1971  Appl. No.: 184,382
Primary Examiner-Ernest R. Purser Assistant ExaminerLawrence J. Staab Attorney-Raymond J. Eifler et al.
 ABSTRACT A guidance and polarizing means for the main parts of a separable electrical connector which carry mating electrical contacts. The polarizing means has two polarizing members (male and female) mounted in predetermined positions on the respective connector parts. Each member has a portion which interfits with the other member to permit connector parts to be mated only when the correct connector parts are presented to each other; In the embodiments shown, one polarizing insert is, made of yieldable plastic material having projections thereon which extend into a recess in the connector body. This permits the polarizing insert to be snapped into a bore in the connector body and retained by the projections which are held captive in said recess.
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented Jan. 30, 1973 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE l SNAP IN POLARIZING MEMBER FOR ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to separable electrical connectors, and more specifically relates to polarizing and guidance means for the main parts of such connectors. The invention is characterized by polarizing members which are inserted, in a predetermined manner, into a bore in a plug and receptacle of an electrical connector to prevent the interconnection of a receptacle with a plug which is not properly polarized. The polarizing member is characterized by the fact that it is retained in the plug and/or receptacle by a plurality of radially extending projections which extend into a recess located within the bore in the plug and/or receptacle that locates the polarizing member.
In one embodiment of the invention the connector,
which has a bore in one portion thereof, and the polarizing means, which includes at least one polarizing member of resilient yet rigid material, comprises: an annular recess located within the bore located in the connector, and an elongated polarizing member having a plurality of radial projections thereon arranged about a common point on the longitudinal axis of the member, the projections extending a radial distance from the longitudinal axis which is greater than the radius of the bore, but less than the radius of the recess, whereby the polarizing member is retained in the bore by the projections which extend into the recess.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide polarizing members that are snapped into position in a connector without the use of tools.
Among the other objects of the invention is the provision of a novel polarizing and guidance means for the parts of a separable electrical connector.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a polarizing and guidance means which is readily adjusted to a plurality of different polarizing positions.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a polarizing and guidance means having mating polarizing inserts arranged for indexing upon the respective connector parts, the inserts being securely retained in each of their indexed positions.
Yet another object of the invention is the provision of a programable keying and guidance device capable of positioning a connector body so that it will mate only with a predetermined member without binding.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a connector polarization and guide pin device that when fully mated and in use will allow each connector half to move axially or float with respect to the other, a predetermined amount. This is to prevent assembly tolerances or external movement from bending or causing strain on the connector components and associated hardware.
The above and further objects and novel features of the invention will more fully appear from the following description when the same is read in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.
In the drawings, like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views.
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view in perspective of a separable electrical connector with the two parts or bodies thereof aligned and about to be mated, such connector being provided with an embodiment of a polarizing means in accordance with the invention. A portion of both bodies of the connector being broken away to show the respective parts of the polarizing means;
FIG. 2 is a view in horizontal transverse section through the upper body of the connector of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a view in horizontal transverse section through the lower body of the connector of FIG. 1, certain of the parts being shown in elevation.
Separable electrical connectors of the type shown herein are frequently employed, as in computer and control installations. Frequently, many such connectors are used, the connector bodies of one type being stacked and mounted on a panel whereas the connector bodies of the other type, which are connected to respective printed circuit boards, are selectively mated with the respective ones of the fixedly mounted connector bodies. Unless the connector bodies are correctly mated, malfunctioning of the apparatus will result; the apparatus may also be severly damaged or ruined.
The connector polarizing means in accordance with the invention makes it possible to make all of the connectors of the same construction, thereby permitting their economical production and stocking. The polarizing means, in accordance with the invention, includes pluglike parts or members which are received in aligned seats or bores in the connector bodies, the seats and the pluglike parts being of such shape that the parts can be disposed in any one of a number of different angular positions in the seat. The outer end portions of such parts are of such configuration that they are mateable when the connector bodies are aligned and moved toward each other and when the two parts of the polarizing means are correctly oriented relative to each other. When the polarizing members are not correctly oriented relative to each other, they interfere and prevent the mating of the connector bodies.
Turning now to the embodiment of electrical connector shown in FIG. 1, the connector includes a plug or body 10 and a receptacle 11, the body 10 having a projecting portion 12 thereon which is receivable in a recess 14 in body 11. Portion 12 has a plurality of spaced bores 15 on the blind end wall of the projection therethrough which receive socket contacts, not
'recess 14, are disposed to be received within the sockets when the connector bodies are fully mated. In the installation herein described, the connector plug 10 is secured to a chassis panel whereas the connector receptacle 11 is secured to a flexible cable or to a printed circuit board.
Outwardly beyond the ends of portion 12 of body 10 there are ears, one of which is shown at 16. The body 11 has two end portions beyond the outer ends of recess 14, one such end portion being shown at 17. When bodies 10 and 11 are mated, the ear 16 is disposed in alignment with the end portion 17. Mounted in the ear 16 is male polarizing member 18 retained by a snap ring 19, shown disassembled. Mounted in ear 17 is the female polarizing member 20 which is rigid yet resilient. in this embodiment, the male member 18 includes a large stem portion 24 that extends beyond the surfaces 12 and 22 of connector body 10. a
A semicircular bore 21, in female member 20, extends inwardly below the surface 25 of body 11, and receives stem 24 of male member 18 when the connector bodies and 11 are properly oriented an in mated relationship. It is preferred that female member 20 be comprised of a rigid yet resilient material such as nylon or plastic.
The male member 18 comprises: a square base portion 23, a semicircular stem 24 extending from said base 23, which has a height substantially greater than the height of base portion 23. The stem 24 is about onehalf the round section 26, of male member 18 and is sized to fit into opening 21 of the female member 20. Member 18 is selectively mounted in a desired angular position in counter bore 27 of body 10 by being inserted from the rear of part 10 into the octagonal shaped counterbored hole 27. The base portion 23 of male member 18 is so dimensioned to permit positioning member 18 in various positions in the octagonal shaped counterbored hole 27. Male member 18 is retained in a desired position by assembling a snap ring 19 into a groove 28, formed below the surface 26 of part 18.
Similarly, female member 20 is mounted in a predetermined angular position in connector body 11 by being snapped into an octagonal seat 29. The female member 20 is retained within connector body 11 by snapping the resilient projections thereon into a formed undercut 31 in the octagonal seat 29 of body 11. This is accomplished by inserting the female member 20 into the bore 29 which depresses the resilient projections 30 until they read the recess 31 where by restorative resilience they return to their original size and thereby retain the female polarizing member within the bore 29. This type of retention allows the polarizing member to retain a greater degree of radial movement than members which are locked into place. The movement of the polarizing members allows for polarization of the plug and receptacle while at the same time permits the plug and receptacle to move sufficiently enough to allow mating of the electri-' cal contacts associated therewith. Generally, the female member 20 is octagonally shaped and has a semicircular bore 21 formed through one-half of its longitudinal axis so that it does not rotate once it is mounted in the bore 29.
When the bodies 10 and 11 are aligned as shown, the semicircular portion 21 of the female member 20 and the semicircular portion 24 of the male member are aligned to be connected in mated relationship. As can be seen in FIG. 1, either the male member 18 or female member 20 may be placed in a connector body 10, 11 in a manner that permits or prevents the connector bodies 10, 11 from mating.
It is apparent that the octagonal polarizing members 18 and 20 permit any one of numerous polarized connections of the connector bodies 10, 1 1. if similar mating polarizing parts 18 and 20 are also used in the ear and end portion at the other end of the bodies, a total of 64 arrangements are possible. it is obvious that the members 18 and 20 may have sections of other polygonal configurations, with more or less than eight sides.
The male polarizing member 18 is securely but removably retained in the octagonal shaped counterbored hole 27 of connector body 10 by a shoulder formed by snap ring 19 in groove 28. This assembly technique leaves the stem 24, free to float radially because of clearances between the diameter 26 of male member 18 and the diameter 26 of male member 18 and the diameter hole 32 of body 10.
When the polarizing members 18 and 20 are mated, the outer end surface 33 of stem 24 is appreciably spaced from the bottom of octagonal seat 29 in end portion 17.
The semicircular bore in polarizing member 20 has dimensions which substantially exceed those of the semicircular stem 24 of male member 18. As a result, the stem 24 of male member 18 is free to enter the opposing semicircular bore 21. g
The stem 24 of male member 18 and the closed portion of the bore 21 of part 20 prevent the mating of connector bodies 10, 11 containing polarizing parts 18 and 20 which are not oriented for mated relationship.
Although only one embodiment of the invention has been illustrated in the accompanying drawings and described in the foregoing specification, it is to be especially understood that various changes, such as in the relative dimensions of the parts, materials used, and the like, as well as the suggested manner of use of the apparatus of the invention, may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as will now be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, although only the female member 20 is shown to have radial projections for retaining the member in the connector, the male member 18 could also have this feature, Further, although the polarizing parts or inserts 18 and 20 are disclosed as being of regular polygonal section, they can be made of other shapes. Thus, the inserts and the seats which receivethem may be of any multisided cross-sectional shapes such that the opposing inserts may be securely retained in any one of a number of complementary mating positions.
Having described the invention, what is claimed is:
1. in an electrical connector of the type having first and second separable assemblies each of which have a bore wherein disposed on a common axis when said as.- semblies are connected in mated relationship, said second assembly having a polygonal bore, and adjustable male and female polarizing members, said male polarizing member having a nonround pin at one end and adjustably mounted at the other end in said bore in said first assembly and said female polarizing member adjustably mounted in said polygonal bore in said second assembly, the improvement comprising:
a recess in said bore in said second assembly; and
said female polarizing member comprises an elongated polygonal member having a nonround hole therein for receiving the nonroundpin on said male member and at least one projection thereon that extends radially from at least one of said sides of said polygonal female member into said recess, said atleast one projection smaller than the recess and extending a radial distance from said common axis of said bore greater than the radial distance of the inner diameter of said bore but less than the radial distance of the diameter of said recess whereby said female polarizing member is retained in said bore by said projections which extend into said recess. 4 2. The combination as recited in claim 1 wherein said female polarizing member has a plurality of projections annularly arranged around the outside thereof.
3. The combination as recited in claim 1 wherein each of said projections are resiliently deformable whereby said at least one projection is depressed when said female polarizing member is inserted into said bore and whereby said at least one projection is restored to its original shape upon reaching said recess thereby retaining said female polarizing member within said bore.
4. The combination asrecited in claim 2 wherein each of said projections are resilient whereby said projections are depressed when said female polarizing member is inserted into said bore and whereby said projections are restored to their original shape upon reaching said recess thereby retaining said female polarizing member within said bore.
5. In an electrical connector of the type having first and second separable assemblies at least one of which has a polygonal bore therein and an adjustable polarizing member mounted in said bore, the improvement wherein said bore includes a recess therein; and wherein said polarizing member comprises an elongated polygonal member having an axial hole with a nonround opening in one end of said member for receiving a male member and a plurality of annularly aligned projections on the opposite end portion that extends radially from at least one of said sides of said polygonal member into said recess, said projections smaller than the recess and extending a radial distance from the axis of said bore which is greater than the radial distance of the inner diameter of said bore, but less than the radial distance of the diameter of said recess, whereby said polarizing member is not rigidly retained in said bore by said projections which extend into said recess.
6. The combination as recited in claim 5 wherein said multisided polarizing member has a projection on each side thereof.
7. The combination as recited in claim 5 wherein each of said projections are resilient whereby said projections are depressed when said polarizing member is inserted into said bore and whereby said projections are restored to their original shape upon reaching said recess thereby retaining said polarizing member within said bore.
8. The combination as recited in claim 6 wherein each of said projections are resilient whereby said projections are depressed when said polarizing member is inserted into said bore and whereby said projections are restored to their original shape upon reaching said recess thereby retaining said polarizing member within said bore in a manner that permits limited radial movement of said polarizing member.