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Publication numberUS3715706 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 6, 1973
Filing dateSep 28, 1971
Priority dateSep 28, 1971
Also published asCA978616A, CA978616A1, DE2246539A1
Publication numberUS 3715706 A, US 3715706A, US-A-3715706, US3715706 A, US3715706A
InventorsJ Cook, D Michel, Le Roy W Fairbairn
Original AssigneeBendix Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Right angle electrical connector
US 3715706 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Michel et al. 1 1 Feb. 6, 1973 [541 RIGHT ANGLE ELECTRICAL 3,395,377 7/1968 Straus 339/17 LM CONNECTOR 3,026,494 3 1962 Anderson 61.31 .339 252 R 2,944,121 7/1960 Wasylenko ..339/17 LM Inventors: Donald Michel; Le y Falr- 3,551,750 12/1970 Sterling .......339/176 M bairn; James W. Cook, all of Sidney, 3,631,380 12/1971 Bohn "339/156 R N.Y.

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [73] Assignee: The Bendix Corporation 1,392,897 2 1965 France ..339 217 3 [22] Filed: Sept. 28, 1971 OTHER PUBLICATIONS [2]] Appl. No.: 184,380

| [52] US. Cl. ..339/l56 R, 339/17 LM, 339/217 S,

[51] Int. Cl. ..H01r 13/50, H0514 H07 [58] Field of Search..339/l7 F, 17 L, 17 LC, 17 LM, 339/176 M, 176 MF,176 MP, 156, 252 R,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,215,968 11/1965 Herrmann ..339/176 MP X 3,270,311 8/1966 Deer et a1. ..339/176 MP X 3,475,657 10/1969 Knowles ..339/176 MP X 3,150,909 9/1964 Deverell ..339/17 F Becon Connector, Brown Engineering Co., Inc., 12-1961 Primary Examiner-Ernest R. Purser Assistant Examiner-Lawrence J. Staab AttorneyRaymond J. Eifler et all.

1 [57] ABSTRACT A right angle electrical connector for connecting in electrical circuit relationship a printed circuit board to a tape cable. The connector contains a plurality of electrical contacts that are retained within the connector by the resilient action of the contact acting against an inside wall of the connector.

14 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB SE75 Y 3.715.706

SHEET 10F 2 22 FIGUREI DONALD EQMIH L' LE w. FAI RN w. COOK v FIGURES INVENTORJ' PATENTEDFEB 6 I975 SHEET 2 OF 2 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 6 1 RIGHT ANGLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a right angle electrical connector for connecting together printed circuit boards and/or tape cables. The connector is of the type that does not require any permanent attachments such as solder, welds, or crimps, to connect the tape cable and/or circuit board together.

Solderless connections between multi-conductor flat cables and/or circuit boards is well known in the art and descriptions of such solderless connections can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,089,l14 and 3,088,090 to J. C. Cole et al. entitled Electrical Connector and U.S. Pat. No. 3,004,237 to J. C. Cole et al. entitled Electrical Connector for Multi-Conductor Cables. These prior art patents include complicated assemblies that have complex electrical contacts for completing electrical circuits between the two cables, and, in one instance, require a male and female portion, each of which is attached to a different tape cable and/or circuit board and a connecting portion to connect the male and female portions together. Other prior art tape connectors include sharp pointed contacts that are forced through the insulation and the conductors of the cable or circuit board, stressing the metal and providing permanent electrical contact. Both tape cables and circuit boards generally include large numbers of very small conductors and it is important, when interconnecting the tapes and/or boards, that exact alignment of the conductors be achieved with the contacts of the connecting device. Alignment is generally achieved by means of spaced apertures in the connector body that contain corresponding contacts. Characteristic of most prior art connectors for tape cables are complex electrical contacts in the form of ramps and/or fingers made of springy material which maintain substantial restorative resilience when fully engaged with the cable or circuit board. By restorative resilience is meant the tendency to restore, to at least an appreciable degree the original unbent shape of the part. The present types of electrical contacts are expensive to make and difficult to assemble into the connector.

The present invention avoids the problems of the prior art and presents a simple right angle electrical connector that establishes exact alignment between a tape cable and circuit board and good circuit relationship therebetween.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides a right angle connector of simple construction that is useful in connecting together printed circuit boards and tape cables.

The invention is a right angle electrical connector 1 that is characterized by a plurality of resilient V-shaped first and second sides of the housing for receiving end portions of an electrical contact; a plurality of electri cal contacts mounted in the housing slots, each of the contacts extending beyond the first and second sides of the housing so that they may come into contact with the conductors of the tape cable and/or circuit board, each of the electrical contacts is comprised of a resilient member that includes a first leg and a second leg resiliently connected to the first leg and defining a marked angle therebetween, the first and second legs each including a raised portion extending in a direction away from the marked angle between the legs, and

each of the contacts retained in one of the slots by the I resilient action of the legs which force the free end portions of the legs in pressure contact with the inner walls of the slots whereby the electrical contact is retained within the connector; means for mounting and positioning thev tape cable on the first side so that each of the conductors of the tape cable is in contact with one of the contacts mounted in the housing slots; and means for mounting and positioning the circuit board on the second side so that each of the circuit board inputs is in contact with one of the contacts mounted in the housing whereby the circuit board is connected in electrical circuit relationship to the tape cable.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved type of right angle electrical connector for connecting together a circuit board and a tape cable.

It is another object of this invention to provide an improved type of right angle electrical connector without it acquiring any permanent attachments such as solder, a weld,-or a crimp. v

It is still another object of this invention to provide an inexpensive and easily manufactured tape connector.

It is still a further object of this invention to provide a simple electrical contact that is retained in a molded housing by the restorative resilience of the contact acting against the inner walls of the housing.

Still another object of this invention is to provide an electrical contact that is inexpensive to make and assemble into a connector without requiring the useof special tools.

The above and other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims which form a part of this specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of an electrical contact that is utilized in the preferred embodiment of the electrical connector.

FIG. 2 is an exploded diagrammatic view of a preferred embodiment of an electrical connector utilizing the contact shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the electrical connector taken along lines III-III.

FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 are cross-sectional views illustrating alternate embodiments of the electrical contact.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates an electrical contact that is utilized in the preferred embodiment of the electrical connector. The electrical contact is comprised of an electrically conducting material and in the preferred embodiment, it is comprised of a flat strip of beryllium copper alloy bent to shape so that the contact is resilient. The contact is in the shape of an open V-formed by a first leg and a second leg 20 with a marked angle A therebetween. The electrical contact is fabricated from a resilient material so that when a force is applied to the legs 10, 20 reducing the marked angle A, the restorative resilient action of the legs 10, 20 return them to their original position when the force is removed. Similarly, each leg has a resilient arm attached thereto, 11, 21. Each of the arms 11, 21 terminates in a raised portion 12, 22, that extends away from the marked angle A. The raised portions 12, 22 of the contact are those portions of the contact 1 that will eventually come into contact with other electrical conducting surfaces. It can be readily appreciated from the drawing that the angles formed between the legs and between the legs and arms combined with the fact that the contact is made from spring-like material added to the restorative forces that would act upon the legs 10, 20 or arms 11, 12, 21 22 to return them to their original position when a force that has moved them is removed.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the right angle connector incorporating the contact shown in FIG. 1. The electrical connector, except for the electrical contacts 1, is comprised of an electrically insulating material such as a molded resin and includes a housing 50, a base plate 40, and a plurality of electrical contacts 1. The housing 50 includes means for receiving and retaining a printed circuit board 60 and the base plate 40 includes means for receiving and retaining a tape cable 70.

The tape cable 70 has a plurality of thin-ribbon like conducting strips 71 which are sealed in spaced parallel relationship between upper and lower electrical insulating layers of material bonded to each other to form an insulating body. The illustrative cable shown in only one of many types and may, for example, be obtained from the Tape Cable Company, Rochester, New York. The conductors 71 are generally made of thin copper strips and the body is generally made of clear, transparent thermaplastic material such as polyester resin. The circuit board 60 is comprised of a nonconducting material having an electrical circuit thereon and a plurality of inputs thereon (not shown) arranged in the same spaced relationship as the conductors 71 of the tape cable. Therefore, when the circuit board 60 is mounted on the housing 50, the circuit board inputs (not shown) will be connected in circuit relationship with the contacts 1. Similarly, when the tape cable 70 is mounted on the connector housing 50, the conductors 71 will be in electrical circuit relationship with the contacts l.

The bolt 61 and holes (not shown) in the circuit board and housing 50 function to fasten and align the circuit board so that the contacts 1 will contact the inputs (not shown) of the circuit board 60.

The holes 44, 54, alignment peg 42, and groove 43 function to fasten and align the tape cable so that the leg portions (not shown) of the contacts 1 will contact the conductors 71 of the tape cable 70.

FIG. 3 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of the preferred embodiment of the right angle connector with the circuit board 60 and the tape cable 70 mounted thereto. This view shows how the electrical contact 1 connects the inputs 63 of the circuit board 60 in electrical circuit relationship with the conductors 71 of the tape cable 70. The connector housing 50 includes a plurality of slots 52 for receiving electrical contacts 1. Each of the slots 52 extend from one side of the housing to an adjacent side and includes end portions defining cavities or grooves 51, 53 beneath the two sides to which the slot extends. It is the purpose of these grooves to receive a portion of the legs 10, 20 and arms 11, 21 of the electrical contact 1. The contact 1 is retained in the position shown by the restorative resilience of the contact 1 which forces the arms 1 l and 21 into pressure contact with the walls of the grooves 51, 53. The simplicity of construction and fabrication of this connector is readily apparent from this view. The contact 1 is originally placed into the slot by merely compressing the two legs 10 and 20 to an angle of about or less and placing the contact 1 into .the slot 52 with the end portions in the grooves 51 and 53 and then removing the compressive force so that the contact 1, in attempting to return to its original shape, will be retained in the groove 52 by action of the arms 11 and 21 in pressure contact with the walls 51 and 53.

FIG. 4 is another preferred embodiment of the contact 1 that can be utilized within the connector housing 50. In this embodiment, it is also the restorative resilience of the contact that retains the contact within the housing 50.v The contact includes a first leg 10 and a second leg 20 having connected thereto a first arm 11 and a second arm 21 respectively. Each of the arms terminates in a finger-like end portion 12 and 22, the function of which is to come into contact with the inputs (not shown) of the circuit board 60 and the conductors 71 of the tape cable (not shown). When the circuit board 60 is mounted on the housing 50, the end portion 12 of the contact and/or leg 10 will be depressed into the housing slot 52 but the end portion 12 will remain in contact with the inputs of the circuit board and upon removal of the circuit board 60 the end portion 12 will extend from the housing 50 as a result of the restorative resilience of the contact.

FIG. 5 shows still another preferred embodiment of the electrical contact that is retained in the connector housing 50 by the resilient action of the legs 10, 20. In this embodiment, the contacts include raised end portions 12 and 22 for contacting conducting surfaces. It is preferred that the raised end portions 12, 22 be curved so as to present a smooth surface that will not scratch or catch the conductors that are to contact them.

FIG. 6 is still another embodiment of an electrical contact that is retained in the connector housing 50 by the resilient act of the legs 10 and 20. In this embodiment, the contact is comprised of the first leg 10 resiliently connected to a second leg 20 and defining a marked angle A therebetween. Each of the legs 10, 20 includes a raised portion 12, 22 that will extend beyond the sides of the connector housing 50, and an arm 11, 21 that extends away from the marked angle A. Before the contact is placed in the housing 50 the marked angle A would be greater than 90 so that when the contact is confined to the slot 52, the restorative dislodged from its retained position within the housing.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes may be made to the invention as set forth in the appended claims, and, in some cases, certain features of the invention may be used to advantage without corresponding use of other features. For example, the principles disclosed herein, could also be used to connect a printed circuit board to a printed circuit board, tape cable to tape cable, microcircuit to microcircuit or any combinations of the above. Accordingly, it is intended that the illustrative and descriptive materials herein be used to illustrate the principles of the invention and not to limit the scope thereof.

Having described the invention, what is claimed is:

1 In combination with an electrical connector of the type having a housing and a plurality of electrical contact receiving slots that extend from a first side of said housing to a second adjacent side of said housing, each of said slots having end portions defining a groove beneath said first and second sides of said housing for receiving end portions of said electrical contact, said electrical contact comprising:

a second leg resiliently connected to and angularly spaced from said first leg by a marked angle therebetween greater than 90 but less than 180 when said contact is not in said slot, said first and second legs each including an arm resiliently attached thereto that includes an end retention portion and a contact portion, said arms extending from said legs in a direction away from the space between said legs defining said marked angle and towards the apex of said marked angle so that when a force is applied to said legs that reduces the marked angle and said contact is placed in said slots in said connector with the retention end portions of said contact said first and second sides in said groove beneath said second side of said housing and the force is removed from said legs, said retention end portions of said arms are in pressure contact with the walls of said grooves whereby said electrical contact is retained in said connector.

2. An electrical connector for connecting in electrical circuit relationship a tape cable to a circuit board, said tape cable being in the form of an insulating tape having a plurality of generally parallel conductors therein arranged in a predetermined spaced relationship, the conductors of the tape being bared at one end of the cable and said circuit board being in the form of an insulating board having an electrical circuit thereon which includes a plurality of electrical inputs in the form of a plurality of conducting paths arranged in generally parallel and spaced relationship along one side of said board, the electrical connector comprising:

a housing having a first side, a. second side adjacent to said first side and a plurality of slots arranged in the same spaced relationship as the conductors of said tape cable, said slots extending between said first and second sides, each of said slots having end portions defining a groove beneath said first and second sides of said housing for receiving end portions of an electrical contact:

a plurality of electrical contacts mounted in said housing slots, each of said contacts extending beyond the first and second sides of said housing, each of said electrical contacts comprising:

a first leg;

a second leg resiliently connected to and angularly spaced from said first leg by an angle of about said first and second legs each including an arm resiliently attached thereto that includes an end retention portion and a contact portion, said arms extending from said legs in a direction away from the space between said legs defining said angle and towards the apex of said marked angle, and each of said contacts retained in one of said slots by the resilient action of the legs which force said retention end portions of said arms in a direction away from said angle and in pressure contact with the walls of said groove whereby said electrical contact is retained in said connector;

means for mounting and positioning said tape cable on said first side so that each of said conductors of said tape cable is in contact with one of said contacts mounted in said housing slots; and

means for mounting and positioning said circuit board on said second side so that each of saidcircuit board inputs is in contact with one of said contacts mounted in said housing slots whereby said circuit board is connected in electrical circuit relationship to said tape cable. 1

3. The combination recited in claim 2 wherein said means for mounting and positioning said tape cable comprises: i

a base having a groove therein for receiving and positioning the bared end of said tape cable; and

means for mounting and positioning said base on said housing so that each of said conducting strips of said tape cable is in contact with one of said con tacts mounted in said housing slots.

4. An electrical connector for connecting in electrical circuit relationship a tape cable to a circuit board, said tape cable being in the form of an insulating tape having a plurality of generally parallel conductors therein arranged in a predetermined spaced relationship, the conductors of the tape being bared at one end of the cable and said circuit board being in the form of an insulating board having an electrical circuit thereon which includes a plurality of electrical inputs in the form of a plurality of conducting paths arranged in generally parallel and spaced relationship along one side of said board, said electrical connector comprising:

a housing having a first side, a second side and a plurality of slots arranged in the same spaced relationship as the conductors of said tape cable, said slots extending between said first and second sides, each of said slots having end portions defining a groove beneath said first and second sides of said housing for receiving end portions of an electrical contact;

a plurality of electrical contacts mounted in said housing slots, each of said contacts extending beyond the first and second sides of said housing, each of said contacts comprising:

a first leg;

a second leg resiliently connected to and angularly spaced from said first leg by an angle of about 90, said first and second legs each having a free end and a raised portion, said free ends and said raised portions extending from said legs in a direction away from the space between said legs defining said angle, and each of said contacts retained in one of said slots by the resilient action of the legs which force said free end portions of said legs in a direction away from the space between said legs defining said angle and in pressure contact with the walls of said groove whereby said electrical contact is retained in said connector;

means for mounting and positioning said tape cable on said first side so that each of said conductors of said tape cable is in contact with one of said contacts mounted in said housing slots; and

means for mounting and positioning said circuit board on said second side so that each of said circuit board inputs is in contact with one of said contacts mounted in said housing slots whereby said circuit board is connected in electrical circuit relationship to said tape cable.

5. The combination as recited in claim 4 wherein said means for mounting and positioning said tape cable comprises:

a base having a groove therein for receiving and positioning the bared end of said tape cable; and

means for mounting and positioning said base on said housing so that each of said conducting strips of said tape cable is in contact with one of said contacts mounted in said housing slots.

6. In combination with an electrical connector of the type having a plurality of resilient electrical contacts retained in slots in said electrical connector by the resilient action of said contact, each of said slots including end portions defining a groove beneath a first and second side of said connector, the improvement wherein said resilient contact comprises:

a member having a first leg resiliently connected to and angularly spaced from a second leg by an angle of about 90;

a first arm resiliently connected to the end of said first leg of said member, said first arm adjacent the first leg of said member and extending in a direction away from the space between said legs defining said angle, said first arm having a portion in pressure contact with said groove in said first side of said connector; and

a second arm resiliently connected to the end of said second leg of said member, and said second arm adjacent said second leg of said member and extending in a direction away from the space between said leg defining said angle, said second arm having a portion in pressure contact with said groove in said second side of said connector, whereby said contact is retained in said slot in said connector.

7. The combination as recited in claim 6 wherein said first and second arms each include a raised portion that extends in a direction away from said the space between said legs defining said angle and beyond the respective side of the connector.

8. The combination as recited in claim 6 wherein said first arm includes a portion, extending from the resilient connection to said first leg, that is generally parallel to said first leg; and said second arm includes a portion, extending from the resilient connection to said second leg, that is generally parallel to said second leg.

9. The combination as recited in claim 1 wherein said first arm includes a portion, extending from the resilient connection to said first leg, that is generally parallel to said first leg; and said second arm includes a portion extending from the resilient connection to said second leg, that is generally parallel to said second leg.

10. The combination as recited in claim 8 wherein the marked angle between said first and second leg is greater than when said contact is not in said slot so that when a force is applied to said legs that reduces the marked angle and said contact is placed in said slot in said connector and the force is removed said portions of said arms parallel to said legs are in pressure contact with the walls of said groove whereby said electrical contact is retained in said connector.

11. The combination as recited in claim 9 wherein the marked angle between said first and second leg is greater than 90 when said contact is not in said slot so that when a force is applied to said legs that reduces the marked angle and said contact is placed in the slot in said connector and the force is removed said portions of said arms parallel to said legs are in pressure contact with the walls of said groove whereby said electrical contact is retained in said connector.

12. An electrical contact comprising:

an electrical conducting member having a first leg resiliently connected to a second leg which is angularly spaced from said first leg by a marked angle greater than 90 but less than a first ann resiliently connected to the end of said first leg of said member, said first arm extending outside said space between said legs that define said marked angle and adjacent said first leg, said first arm including a raised portion extending away from said first leg and outside said space between said first and second legs that define said marked angle; and

a second arm resiliently connected to the end of said second leg of said member, said second. arm extending outside said space between said legs that define said marked angle and adjacent said second leg, said second arm including a raised portion extending away from said second leg and outside said space between said first and second legs that defines said marked angle, whereby when a force moves one of said arms or legs from its original position, the resilient action of the contact returns said arm or leg to its original position when said force is removed.

13. The electrical contact as recited in claim 12 wherein said first arm includes a portion, extending from the resilient connection to said first leg, that is generally parallel to said first leg; and said second arm includes a portion extending from the resilient connec- 9 10 tion to said second leg, that is generally parallel to said an arm on-each end of said legs that extends outside Second leg. said space between said legs that define said 14. An electrical contact comprising:

a first leg;

at second le resilientl connected to and an ularl 5 spaced frgom said g leg by a markedganglz outside said space between said legs defining said greater than 90 but less than 180, said first and marked angle second legs including a:

marked angle, each of said legs further including a raised portion that extends away from said legs and v

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/493, 439/65
International ClassificationH01R9/00, H05K1/00, H01R12/24, H01R12/28, H01R4/48, H01R13/50, H01R27/00, H01R12/12, H02K
Cooperative ClassificationH01R12/714
European ClassificationH01R23/72B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 12, 1992ASAssignment
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION A CORP. OF DELAWARE
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE;REEL/FRAME:006147/0887
Effective date: 19911114
Oct 1, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION, LISLE, ILLINOIS A CORP. OF D
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ALLIED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF NY;REEL/FRAME:004844/0850
Effective date: 19870602
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ALLIED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF NY;REEL/FRAME:004844/0850
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE, ILLINOIS
Jul 2, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF NY
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:BENDIX CORPORATION, THE,;REEL/FRAME:004765/0709
Effective date: 19850401
Owner name: CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE, NEW YORK AGENC
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMPHENOL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004879/0030
Effective date: 19870515