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Publication numberUS3721863 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 20, 1973
Filing dateJun 22, 1971
Priority dateJun 22, 1970
Also published asDE2131005A1
Publication numberUS 3721863 A, US 3721863A, US-A-3721863, US3721863 A, US3721863A
InventorsP Hardouin, M Nicolas
Original AssigneeTelemecanique Electrique
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Selective interconnection matrix
US 3721863 A
A selective interconnections matrix is provided of reduced dimension compared with existing known arrangements, and enabling sufficient interconnections to be made for practical application. It has been observed that a normal 100 matrix is usually employed for only 500 or so connections out of the 10,000 possible, and by terminating each connector in a series of contacts interconnected by flexible links, a sufficient number of interconnections has been maintained, while at the same time providing simplicity of construction and use.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ilnite States Patent 1191 Hardouin et a1.

[ 1March 20,1973

1 1 SELECTHVE MNTERCONNECTION MATRIX [75] lnventors: Pierre llardouin, Asnieres; Michel Nicolas, Paris, both of France [73] Assignee: La Telemecanique Electrique, Nanterre, l-lauts de Seine, France 22 Filed: June 22, 1971 21 Appl.N0.: 155,519

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data June 22, 1970 France ..7022915 [52] US. Cl. 3117/10l CE, 317/101 DH, 339/18 C [51] 1111. C1. ..H02b 1/02 [58] Field of Search ..317/101 CE, 101 D, 101 CC,

317/99; 339/18 R, 18 B, 18 C [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,936,407 5/1960 Ewald ..317/99 11/1970 Rosenbergetal ..317/101CE 4/1963 Thompson ..317/101CC Primary ExaminerDavid Smith, Jr. Attorney-Karl W. Flocks [5 7] ABSTRACT A selective interconnections matrix is provided of reduced dimension compared with existing known arrangements, and enabling sufiicient interconnections to be made for practical application. It has been observed that a normal 100 matrix is usually employed for only 500 or so connections out of the 10,000 possible, and by terminating each connector in a series of contacts interconnected by flexible links, a sufficient number of interconnections has been maintained, while at the same time providing simplicity of construction and use.

12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEUMKRzoms SHEET 10F 2 INVENTORS W m 5 W m L mm All cL RE RH M [K 8 PM K ATTORNEY SELEC'HVE HNTERCONNECTION MATRTX The invention relates to a selector matrix, especially of the pull-out type used in data-processing apparatus when the problem arises of connecting a certain number of inputs to a certain number of outputs to define a predetermined mode of functioning.

More precisely, the matrix according to the invention may be used in those cases where said connections define a certain number of AND and OR functions that require to be readily modified. Since the equipments associated with these functions are generally circuits carried on printed-circuit cards, the format of which corresponds to the now standardized drawer dimensions, the selective connections matrix of the invention enables considerable compatibility with the adjacent elements to be established, these elements usually being detachable since pull-out connections are used.

Selective interconnection matrices are known which comprise a first series of conductors parallel with each other and each having a certainnumber of connecting points that can be joined to any one of the connecting points of a second series of conductors likewise parallel with each other.

The input and output conductors are frequently arranged in two orthogenal directions, and selection is then made by connecting two conductors at right-angles to the point of intersection.

This arrangement which has enjoyed great popularity has a number of drawbacks. It is in fact difficult to reduce the space between two adjacent conductors to less than millimeters, and if the number of inputs and outputs is great (in the order of a hundred for example), it is necessary to provide an assembly, the dimensions of which are approximately 600 mm X 600 mm and the cost of which is extremely high.

Furthermore, the pin for interconnecting two orthogenal conductors, that cross at a distance from each other is complicated if it is required to obtain good contacts. If on the other hand the pin is of a simple kind, the input and output conductors have to be fitted with resilient elements, and this further increases the distance that has to be provided between two parallel conductors and between the two layers of crossing conductors.

in all cases it is practically impossible to make suitable use, as these conductors, of printed-circuit card, especially cards printed on both sides, and this drawback, added to that of large size, precludes the possibility of housing such matrices in the drawers of present dimensions that are used in data processing.

From the electrical point of view, the proximity of series of conductors disposed at right-angles can lead to undesired connections that are impossible to eliminate due to the fact that all the conductors in one series lie, at some point, close to some conductor of the other series.

Finally, in these matrices the fixing of the position of the connection that is to be made by ascertaining the crossing point is rendered intricate when the number of conductors is great.

The invention is based on the following observation: an interconnecting matrix of this kind comprising for example 100 inputs and 100 outputs enables 10,000 possible connections to be made. However, experience has shown that on the average the user makes only 400 of these 10,000 possible connections. The utilization coefficient (4 percent) is thus very low, and it is not possible to improve it in the case where the conductors are present in crossing lines and columns.

Because of an original arrangement, the selector matrix of the invention enables use to be made of printed-circuit cards printed on both sides, and enables the utilization coefficient to be increased. It further enables an arrangement of reduced dimensions to be obtained that is compatible with the standard sizes of card and which consequently can be incorporated in a detachable manner in drawers of current dimensions, while at the same time its cost is reasonable.

Finally, it eliminates the disadvantages existing in the known arrangements.

According to the present invention, there is provided an improved selective interconnection matrix of the kind enabling a certain arbitrary number of connections to be made between each conductor of a predetermined number of inputs and each conductor with a predetermined number of outputs, wherein the improvement comprises an arrangement of conductors wherein each input conductor and each output conductor is in direct connection with a limited number of connector elements which is smaller than the greater of the two numbers of inputs and outputs, the connection elements being arranged in parallel, there being two conductor elements, one associated with an input conductor and one with an output conductor, and adapted to be connected through a flexible conductor the ends of which are fitted with connector elements complementary to the first-mentioned conductor elements.

In an advantageous embodiment of the invention, the parallel connector elements associated with one and the same input or output conductor are mechanically and electrically integral with each other and constitute a multiple connector. The latter is preferably a combshaped conductor, the teeth of which constitute pins cooperating with connector elements of the clip type.

Furthermore, each series of parallel input or output conductors preferrably takes the form of parallel strips of printed circuits disposed on one of the faces of a rectangular insulating card, the multiple connectors being pressed in a resilient and electrically conductive manner against these circuits.

Each series advantageously terminates at one of the edges of the card on which they are carried so as to form a series of contacts adapted to cooperate in a detachable manner with a multiple connector establishing connection with the entry or output circuits.

The comb-like distributors of one and the same series may be held perpendicularly to the plane of the card by means of insulating collars which carry identification markings.

In a particularly advantageous arrangement, the insulating card carries series of conductors on its two faces and contains openings or slots enabling a connecting wire to join together two conductors located on opposite faces of the card.

Finally, in order to improve the utilization coefficient, i.e., to avoid providing a number of connecting points that is greater than the number that may be required, the multiple distributor connectors comprise a number of teeth that is very much lower than the greatest number of input and output conductors, the

matrix including a certain number of reserve multiple distributor connectors, each of which is adapted to be connected by a flexible conductor to a connector attached to an input or output conductor. Thus, the number of connecting points related to a particular conductor can be increased as required by electrical connection between a full distributing member and a reserve distributing member.

The attached drawings show how the invention may be reduced to practice.

FIG. 1 is a general plan view of a partially dismantled selective interconnection matrix in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2 shows on a larger scale a partial section on the line II-Il of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a detail of this matrix.

The matrix A is illustrated in FIG. 1 between the multiple connector B of the input conductors and the detachable multiple connectors C and C corresponding to the output conductors.

The multiple connectors B, C and C are of the type comprising resilient members adapted to cooperate with the conducting tabs, that terminate at right-angles to the edge of an insulating printed-circuit card.

The insulating card 1, carrying the matrix A, thus carries on its two faces and along its edges 3, 4, 5 and 6, which cooperate with the multiple connectors, thin parallel conductive strips 7 terminating at the edge of the card. These strips, made of, or coated with, precious metal, are constricted locally at 8 at places where their surface does not need to be wide.

Thus, connecting terminals 9 are provided along the edges 3 to 6 and these terminals are matched on the other face by similar terminals 10 (see FIG. 2), which cooperate with the multiple connectors.

The movement of a card into and out of the connector B is achieved by means of a screw 2 which is pivotally mounted on the card 1 and the thread 2a of which cooperates with a nut 11 on the conductor B, the screw being turned through its head 2b.

The card is guided in its sliding movements by guide strips 35 and 36 solidly connected to the frame that carries the connector B.

Associated with each conducting strip 7 is a comblike conductor 21 comprising a certain number of teeth 22 that is less than that of the conductors terminating at one of the edges of the card. To mention an example, the number of teeth may be equal to one-tenth of the number of conductors (10 teeth per hundred conductors).

The comb-like elements are urged on to a strip 2 by a spring blade 27, the ends 31 of which are bifurcated to fit over the back of this comb-like element.

The end teeth 29 and 30 of all the comb-like elements in one and the same group are engaged in two parallel reglets which in turn are engaged in housings a in two parallel insulating reglets 20. The reglets of the upper face and those corresponding to them on the lower face are clamped against the card 1 by bolts 32 so that the spring blades 27 are flattened and ensure good contact both with the strips 7 and the comb-like elements'2l.

The comb-like elements and the springs, like the strips, may be coated with precious metal so that they do not oxidize and they ensure perfect contact.

The reglets 20 may also locate partitions 19 fitted in grooves in said reglets and each separating two consecutive comb-like elements.

The reglets also hold in position comb-like elements, such as those shown at 33 and 34, that are not pressed on to a strip and may be connected to a comb-like element in contact with any conductor so as to increase the number of teeth 22 i.e., the number of connecting pins associated with this conductor when this is required. 7

Finally, the reglets may carry labels 28 identifying the conductors.

A clip-type connector 36, firmly attached to the end of a flexible conductor 37 may be fitted on each of the teeth of a comb-like element; the other end of this flexible conductor carrying a similar clip is adapted to engage a tooth of another comb-like element.

One of the conductors associated with the assembly X (input) can thus be connected to a conductor associated with the assembly Y (output). To enable a conductor associated with the assembly X, located on the visible face of the card 1, to be connected to a conductor Y situated on the concealed face of this card, or vice versa (FIG. 1), the central portion of the card contains openings 12 through which may be passed flexible conductors such as that shown at 37a.

To avoid the effects of current feedback, the flexible conductors 37 may comprise an intermediate diode 38.

A flexible conductor 37 (not comprising a diode) may also be used for connecting a comb-like element, associated with an input or output conductor, to a reserve comb-like element such asthose shown at 33 or 34 (FIG. 3). The corresponding conductor is then associated with 18 connecting pins.

When wiring is complete, the covers 18 18' are fitted in position on the card 1, the matrix is fitted in the guide grooves 35 and 36, forming part of the frame of the apparatus, before the parts 3 and 5 are introduced into the fixed connectors B. The screw 2 ensures that the matrix is held in position, whilst the detachable connectors C and C are fitted on unoccupied portions of the outer edge of the card.

The invention is mainly applicable to selective connection matrices of the pull-out type used in dataprocessing apparatus as employed for example in electrical installations, programmed machine-tools, various automatic machines etc.

What we claim is:

1. A selective interconnection matrix comprising a first number of input fixed conductors arranged in a first array; a second number of output fixed conductors arranged in a second array; a multiple connector electrically connected to each of said input and output conductors, said connector having a number of parallel connecting elements smaller than the greater of said first and second numbers; and a plurality of flexible conductors both ends of which are provided with complementary connecting elements adapted to cooperate with said connecting elements for connecting one input conductor with one output conductor.

2. A selective interconnection matrix according to claim 1, wherein said multiple connector is an elongated rigid conducting member mechanically and electrically integral with said connecting elements aligned m a row.

3. A matrix according to claim 2, characterized in that the multiple connector is a comb-like element formed by aligned pins.

4. A matrix according to claim 3, characterized in that said input and output conductors are constituted by parallel conducting strips in the form of printed circuitry on card members and the multiple connector is pressed perpendicularly to a printed-circuit card against a conducting strip of this circuit that terminates at an input terminal.

5. A matrix according to claim 4, characterized in that the input and output terminals are carried by the two opposite edges of a rectangular printed-circuit card, the conducting strips extending at right-angles to these edges.

6. A matrix according to claim 5, characterized in that the terminals and the conducting strips are carried on the two faces of the printed-circuit card, whereas the card contains openings through which flexible conductors can be passed from one face of the card to the other thereby joining a connector located on one face to a connector located on the other face.

7. A matrix according to claim 5, characterized in that at least part of the comb-like elements located on one and the same edge of the card comprise, along their rear edges, resilient conducting elements in. contact with the conducting strips, and their ends are engaged in two insulating reglets pressed against the card by screw means.

3. A matrix according to claim 7, characterized in that the insulating reglets comprise notches for the fixing of insulating partitions separating two consecutive comb-like elements.

9. A matrix according to claim 7, characterized in that the reglets comprise carriers for means identifying each of the inputs and the corresponding comb-like elements.

10. A matrix according to claim 1, characterized in that it comprises a number of multiple distributing connectors that is greater than the sum of the input and output conductors, which connectors each comprise a number ofconnector elements that is considerably lower than the number of input or output conductors, each of the surplus connectors, normally not connected to a conductor, being adapted to be connected through a flexible conductor to a connector already attached to a conductor.

11. A matrix according to claim 7, characterized in that the flexible conductors comprise a diode at a point along their length.

12. A matrix according to claim 5 characterized in that the terminals are the widened strips of printed circuits terminating at right-angles to the edge of the card and adapted to cooperate with aligned groups of connecting clips; each connected to an exterior output or input conductor.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2936407 *May 15, 1957May 10, 1960Bell Telephone Labor IncMounting and connecting apparatus
US3085177 *Jul 7, 1960Apr 9, 1963Vry Technical Inst Inc DeDevice for facilitating construction of electrical apparatus
US3539873 *Oct 19, 1967Nov 10, 1970Clare & Co C PMatrix board apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4764849 *Dec 19, 1986Aug 16, 1988Motorola, Inc.Data bus distribution apparatus
US4920456 *Sep 19, 1988Apr 24, 1990Vorwerk & Co. Interholding GmbhCurrent supply arrangement for household appliances and method of making the same
DE3247874A1 *Dec 23, 1982Jul 21, 1983Honda Motor Co LtdKupplungs-anschlusseinrichtung
U.S. Classification361/805, 361/826, 361/679.4, 361/775, 439/43
International ClassificationH04Q1/02
Cooperative ClassificationH04Q1/021, H04Q1/023
European ClassificationH04Q1/02