US 3727170 A
A connector assembly for providing contact between the conducting surfaces of a printed circuit board and conductors located within a flat cable. This connector comprises an insulating body having a channel therein for receiving the printed circuit board and a tail portion extending from said insulating body. A plurality of electrical contacts are established within the insulating body, each having first contacting portions for contacting the conducting surfaces of the circuit board and second contacting portions which protrude externally from the insulating body substantially parallel to and at a predetermined distance from designated surfaces of the tail portion, thereby forming a slot for receiving the leading edges of the flat cable. To provide electrical contact in this area, the insulative material on one side of the flat cable is stripped away, exposing the conductors to the second contacting portions of the contacts.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Mosier et al. v
[451 Apr. 10, 1973 1 FLAT CABLE CONNECTOR  Inventors: John L. Mosier, Kane; George D.
Powley, Johnsonburg, both of Pa.
 Assignee: GTE Sylvania Incorporated  Filed: Apr. 20, 1971  Appl. No.: 135,599
 US. Cl ..339/17 F, 339/176 IMF  Int. Cl. ..H05k 1/02  Field of Search ..339/l4 R, 17 F, 17 L,
339/17 LC, 176 MF,176 MP, 176 M, 1
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 1972 Fergusson ..339/17FX 11 1971 Bridle 3,088,086 4/1963 Crimmins ..339/l7 F 3,336,564 8/1967 McCaughey. 339/99 R 3,353,141 11/1967 Bridae 339/17FX 3,004,237 10/1961 Cole et a1. ..339/17 F X 2,709,246 5/1955 Abbott ..339/l07 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,200,801 8/1970 Great Britain .339/l76 MF Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Terrell P. Lewis Attorney-Norman J OMalley, Donald R. Castle and William H. McNeill I ABSTRACT A connector assembly for providing contact between the conducting surfaces of a printed circuit board and conductors located within a flat cable. This connector comprises an insulating body having a channel therein for receiving the printed circuit board and a tail portion extending from said, insulating body. A plurality of electrical contacts are established within the insulating body, each having first contacting portions for contacting the conducting surfaces of the circuit board and second contacting portions which protrude externally from the insulating body substantially parallel to and at a predetermined distance from designated surfaces of the tail portion, thereby forming a slot for receiving the leading edges of the flat cable. To provide electrical contact in this area, the insulative material on one side of the flat cable is stripped away, exposing the conductors to the second contacting portions of the contacts.
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTQEDAPR 1 0197s SHEET 1 [IF 2 FLAT CABLE CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to electrical connectors and more particularly to connectors for providing contact between the electrical conducting surfaces of a printed circuit board and corresponding individual conductors located within a flat cable.
Flat cables are well known in the art as comprising a plurality of individual conductors spaced in a substantially parallel arrangement and encased within a body of insulative material. These conductors, insulated from each other, may either be round wire, flat metal strips, or a possibility of many other cross-sectional configurations. The flat cable avoids the necessity of a multitude of separate wires cluttering the circuit area, thereby providing the compactness feature as dictated by the technology of today's electronic field. A single flat strip of conductors also greatly simplifies the manufacturing and repair processes on the circuit.
To make circuitry even more compact, the printed circuit board, having a variety of circuits neatly arranged on a flat insulative board, is'employed. It can, therefore, be seen that a circuit arrangement utilizing a printed circuit board, which in turn is joined electrically to a flat cable, would provide the compactness feature necessary in todays technology and would also make repair of the circuit substantially less difficult. It
is believed, therefore, that a connector designed to receive a printed circuit board and to electrically connect the conducting surfaces of this board to corresponding individual conductors located within-a flat cable, would be an advancement in the art.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Consequently, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a new method of making electrical connections between the contact surfaces of a printed circuit board and the individual conductors located within a flat cable.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a connector which utilizes a minimal amount of components, thereby facilitating ease of operation.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide a connection which maintains the flat cable in substantially rigid alignment with the connector.
In accordance with one aspect of this invention there is provided an electrical connector having an insulating body with a tail portion and a channel located therein. Within this channel are positioned the first contacting portions of a plurality of electrical contacts, whose purpose it is to contact the electrically conducting surfaces of a printed circuit board when it is introduced into the channel. The second contacting portions of the contacts protrude from the insulating body a predetermined distance from and substantially parallel to designated surfaces of the tail portion. In doing so, they form a receiving slot for the leading edges of the flat cable which, after having a portion of the insulative covering stripped away to expose the conductors to the second contacting portions, are introduced.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded isometric view of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS For a better understanding of the present invention together with other and further objects, advantages,
and capabilities thereof, reference is made to the following specification and appended claims in connection with the above described drawings.
Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown an exploded view of the present invention, connector assembly 11, comprising an insulating body 13, an upper closure member 15, a lower closure member 17, and a plurality of electrical contacts 19, which are retained within the insulating body. Each of the contacts 19 have a first contacting portion 21 which is positioned within channel 23 and a second contacting portion 25 which protrudes externally from insulating body 13 substantially parallel to and a predetermined distance from either surface 27 or 27 of tail portion 29 of the insulating body depending on the contacts position within the channel. A better view of the positioning of these various components is shown in FIG. 3.
It is the purpose of the first contacting portion 21 of the contacts to engage the electrically conducting areas 31 of the printed circuit board 33 after insertion of the board into channel 23.
The second contacting portions 25 likewise. contact the electrical conductors 35 of flat cable 37 once the leading edges 39 and 39' are inserted between the second contacting portions 25 and surfaces 27 and 27 respectively.
In this particular embodiment, a flat cable having two separate layers of conductors is shown, although it should be understood the alternatives to this are possible. One of these alternatives would be to have a flat cable with only one layer of conductors and alternate every other conductor to the opposing sides 27 and 27' of the tail portion, prior to insertion between the sides and the second contacting portions 25.
In order for sound electrical connections to be accomplished between conductors 35 and contacting portions 25, a portion of insulating material is stripped away from the conductors, thereby exposing them. The amount of insulation to be stripped is dependent on the distance which the conductors are to be inserted. After insertion is completed, it is suggested that contacting portions 25 be soldered to the respective conductors thereby assuring more reliable connections, although this is not an essential prerequisite for this connector to function, as will be better explained with further description.
Once the conductors are inserted, upper and lowe closure members 15 and 17, respectively, are joined, thereby enclosing insulating body 13. Closure members 15 and 17 are provided with recessed areas 41 and 41 respectively, which are designed to fit about the thicker portion 43 of the insulating body. To accommodate for wings 45 and 45' on this thicker portion, slots 47 and 47 in upper closure member 15 and slots 49 and 49' in lower closure member 17 are respectively provided- These slots aid in substantially eliminating any lateral movement of the insulating body. Once the insulating body is enclosed, retaining pins 51 are inserted into openings 53 in the lower closure member 17 and further into openings 55 of upper closure member 15,
where a part of each extends beyond the upper surface 57. The proposed method for binding the two closure members is to now deform the extended ends of these pins outward along the surface 57 of the upper closure member, as shown more clearly in FIG. 3. This could be accomplished by striking the extended ends, which are shown as being hollow, with a wedge shaped instrument. Although this is the method shown, others are possible. Among these, the lengths of the pins could be extended, and provided with threading, whereby nuts are screwed on until engaging surface 57, thus locking the two members rigidly.
A still further method could be to provide U-shaped clamps which could engage the outermost surfaces of A corresponding raised portion (not shown) is positioned on upper closure member nextto .this groove in a similar positioning relationship as that of raised portion 59 and groove 63,'and mates with groove 63 to provide additional compressing pressure on the flat cable. i
In FIG. 2 can be seen a side view of the present invention, connector assembly 11, with the upper and lower closure members, and 17, joined. In this view, one of the wings 45 can be seen in its relative position clamped between the two closure members. The printed circuit board 33 and the flat cable are inserted into the connector assembly.
In FIG. 3, the same positioning of the connector assembly as that in FIG. 2 is shown, with the exception that in this view many of the components are in section. Insulating body 13 is shown to house a pair of opposing electrical contacts 19, each having a first contacting portion 21 and a second contacting portion 25. The first contacting portions are positioned within channel 23 of insulating body 13 and contact the electrically conducting areas 31 of the printed circuit board 33 after the board is inserted into the channel. Second contacting portions 25 protrude from the insulating body and are formed in such a manner so as to be substantially parallel to and a predetermined distance from the exterior surfaces 27 and 27 of tail portion 29 of the insulating body. By doing so, they form receiving slots 65 for the leading edges 39 and 39 of the flat cable 37, which are shown in their fully inserted position.
Upper and lower closure members 15 and 17, respectively, are closed about insulating body 13, causing raised portion 59 on edge 61 of lower closure member 17 to mate with the corresponding groove in upper closure member 15, clamping the flat cable between. Being a relatively tight fit between the two closure members, the flat cable is compressed somewhat at this junction as shown. This compressive fit substantially eliminates any lateral movement of the flat cable away from or toward the connector assembly.
The respective positions of pins 51 can more clearly be seen in FIG. 3 as they are aligned within openings 53 of the lower closure member 17 and openings 55 of the upper closure member 15. The portion of the pins which extends beyond surface 57 have been deformed outwardly along this surface. The heads of the pins 67 fit within recessed openings 69 located within lower closure member 17.
While there have been shown and described what are presently considered the preferred embodiments of this invention, it is obvious to those skilled in the art that a plurality of electrical contacts retained within said insulating body, each of said contacts having a first and second contacting portion, said first contacting portion established within said receiving means of said insulating body and said second contacting portion protruding externally from said insulating body substantially parallel to and a predetermined distance from a designated surface of said protruding tail portion thereby forming accepting means for said flat cable, said second contacting portion having a terminal end located thereon, said terminal end angled outwardly from said designated surface of said protruding tail portion to form funnel like openings for accepting the leading edges of said flat cable; and
a pair of opposing closure members adapted to enclosure said insulating body and a portion of said flat cable and having means whereby said flat cable is retained in substantially rigid alignment with said insulating body.
2. The connector assembly according to claim 1 in which said means located within saidinsulating body for receiving said printed circuit board comprises a channel of predetermined depth having an opening along a first surface of said insulating body.
3. The connector assembly according to claim 2 in which said protruding tail portionextends in a direction substantially normal to a second surface of said insulating body, said second surface being opposed and substantially parallel to said first surface.
4. The connector assembly according to claim 1 in which said means for retaining said flat cable in substantially rigid alignment with said insulating body comprises at least one raised portion located on one of said closure members, said raised portion mating with a which each of said individual conductors located within said flat cable are joined to each of said second contacting portions by a bonding means prior to enclosing said closure members about said insulating body.
7. The connector assembly according to claim 6 in which said bonding means is soldering.