US 3760336 A
A miniature connector of which each main part includes a dielectric insert made up of a plurality of modules in the form of blocks, each having an individual arrangement for mounting pin contacts and socket contacts, respectively, the different modules accommodating different sized contacts and the modules being individually and selectively positionable within the respective connector parts, whereby to enable special make-up of a connector according to specific local and immediate requirements as to the size or other characteristics of the contacts.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ited States atent 1 Ce'rwin 1 Sept. 18, 1973 MINIATURE CONNECTOR-MODULAR James Joseph Cerwin, Oak Park, Ill.
The Bunker-Ramo Corporation, Oak Brook, 11].
Filed: Mar. 24, 1971 Appl. No.: 127,609
 US. Cl. 339/92 M, 339/121, 339/137, 339/138, 339/206 P Int. Cl H01r 13/54 Field of Search 339/121, 132-134, 339/136-142, 176 M, 184 R, 184 M, 191 M,
References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1962 Fox 339/184' R 4/1957 Arson 5/1963 Phillips et al 339/184 M OTHER PUBLICATIONS Aviation Week, Existing Connection Methods, Au-
Primary ExaminerMarvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Lawrence J. Staab Attorney--Frederick M. Arbuckle 4 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures a m/Mm PATENTEU E 3,760,336
sum 1 OF 2 MINIATURE CONNECTOR-MODULAR FIELD OF THE INVENTION stances in which there is a great need for special kinds of connectors, but not in such great numbers, and in such cases it is not always justifiable to invest the great sums needed for tooling up. Additionally, if such connectors were to be made by hand tooling, the cost in that case also would be exhorbitant.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION A broad object of the invention is to provide a miniature connector of the foregoing overall character, which overcomes the objections referred to above.
Another and broad object is to provide a miniature connector of the character-just referred to which utilizes components very similar to components in miniature connectors heretofore known, and in the case of at least certain of those components, they are made of modular construction and mated in the main parts of the connector, and function in precisely the same manner as corresponding elements of miniature connectors heretofore made, whereby to enable a manufacturer by selecting certain ones of the modules for incorporation in a connector, and further wherein such modules and the other components of the connectors can be made in large numbers whereby to reduce tooling costs therefor, and additionally whereby a manufacturer can make up special connectors in relative small numbers at low costs similar to those involved in making miniature connectors of the kind heretofore known.
Still another and more specific object is to provide a miniature connector of the foregoing character which utilizes pin contacts and socket contacts of kinds heretofore known and used as well as other constructional features such as a shell member and a back plate, identical with or similar to corresponding components used in previously known connectors, in this way additionally minimizing costs of manufacture.
Still another object is to provide a miniature connector of the foregoing character in which the modules are in the form of inserts which hold the pin contacts and socket contacts and in which the connector includes novel construction for locating the modules in proper position, and accurately aligning them so that the pin contacts and socket contacts in the two main parts of the connector are properly aligned.
Still another object is to provide a miniature connector of the foregoing character having physical construction providing novel interlocking arrangement between the parts making up the connector, and including means for preventing distortion of the components confining the modules and thereby preventing displacementor misalignment of the modules which might otherwise be occasioned because of their modular and hence small dimensions.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a connector incorporating the features of the present invention, with the main parts fitted together;
FIG. 2 is an end view of the connector of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view of the connector but with the main parts separated;
FIG. 4 is a view from the right of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view taken at line 55 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of modules or module in serts;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary face view, on a large scale, oriented according to FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is a large scale view taken at line 8-8 of FIG.
FIG. 9 is a large scale sectional view taken at line 9--9 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the parts shown in FIG. 9 but with the parts interconnected.
Referring in detail to the accompanying drawings, a connector 10 made according to the present invention is shown in connected relation, while the same connector is shown in FIG. 3 with the main parts separated, these main parts being a socket connector assembly 12 and a pin connector assembly 14. These two assemblies are closely similar in construction, the socket connector assembly 12 includes a front shell 16 and a back plate 18, these two components forming a shell envelope confined within which is dielectric insert means 20 made up of a plurality of modules 20a. The front shell 16 and back plate 18 have mating flanges 22, 24 respectively, provided with apertures 26 (FIG. 5) through which suitable securing means such as rivets, bolts, etc. are inserted for securing the two components 16, 18 together, this securing means being indicated diagrammatically by the dotdash line 26a.
The connector assembly 14 includes a front shell 28 and a back plate 30 between which is confined insert means 32 made up of a plurality of modules 32a. The components 28, 30 are provided with flanges 34, 36 respectively, having apertures for securing means similarly being diagrammatically indicated by the dot-dash line 38.
The front shells 16, 28 (except for the flanges 22, 34) are generally tubular in form although elongated and narrow (FIG. 5) and the front shell 16 fits into the front shell 28 with a friction fit, aiding in securing the two main parts or assemblies 12, 14 together. The shells are preferably nonrectangular in plan, to orient them in predetermined position.
The two back plates 18, 30 are identical in construction, or substantially so and are referred to again herebe accommodated. Each module 20, 32 is in the form of a block (FIG. 6) square or nearly square in cross section and each having which for convenience are termed end surfaces 40, and side surfaces 42, as well as an upper or inner end surface 41 and a lower or outer end surface 43. The modules are placed in the shell envelopes in such a manner that the upper or inner end surfaces 41 interface when the connector parts are fitted together (FIGS. 9 and 10) and the low or outer end surfaces 43 extend outwardly from each other. On the side surfaces are locking elements or cleats 44 each having an upturned rib 46 defining a groove 48 with the corresponding sidesurface 42. Locating and holding fins 50, 52 extend downwardly from the cleats to the bottom edge of the block. One fin is shown in FIG. 6 and both fins are shown well in FIG. 8 and also included in FIGS. 9 and 10. These two fins 50, 52, are of different width for use in positioning the modules as referred to again hereinbelow.
The modules 20, 32 are provided with apertures 54 for fitting therein of socket contacts 56 and pin contacts 58 (FIGS. 9 and 10). This placement of apertures and contacts therein is known. These contacts are shown semi-diagrammatically, it being understood of course that conductors lead therefrom. Reference may be made to Yopp, US Pat. No. 3,101,229, dated Aug. 20, 1963 for further details of contacts and conductors, as well as other details that do not enter into the modular concept of the present invention.
In making up the insert means 20, 32, the desired number of modules or module inserts (in accordance with requirements as referred to hereinbelow) are fitted together in end-to-end relation with the end surfaces 40 in mutually abutting relation. These are fitted in the assembly in the desired order, such for example as fitting them in the back plate 18. This back plate includes parallel longitudinal members 60 having flanges 62 extending in the direction of the axis of the aperture 54 and inturned flanges 64 having notches therein 66, 68 on opposite sides and of different sizes for receiving the fins 50, 52 in the modules.
In so fitting the modules in position, as in the back plate, the cleats 44 rest against the inturned flanges 64, and when the front shell 16 is fitted in place, the inner edges of that shell indicated at 70 (FIGS. 9 and 10) fit into the grooves 48 in the modules. Then upon putting the securing means 26 in position, the two main components of the connector assembly are held together and the modules are gripped therebetween. The same steps are followed in making up both connector assemblies l2, l4.
The contacts and the conductors connected thereto are put in place in the modules in a known manner, and the connector assemblies are interconnected according to their ultimate use, also in a known manner. It is also practical to provide blanks or spaces for use when a lesser number of apertured modules are desired, for a given size of shell envelope is utilized, and even to use an apertured module without contacts as such spacers.
The interconnection between the fins 50, 52 in the notches 66, 68 confines the modules against longitudinal movement, and the engagement of the marginal edges 70 of the front shell in the grooves 48 together with the lateral engagement by the side strips of the back plate with the modules retain the modules against displacement transversely.
FIG. 7 shows a slightly modified form of modules, in this case having tongue and groove interconnections 72 on their end surfaces 40.
The modules 20, 32 are provided with the desired individual patterns of apertures 54 according to the size and capacity of the socket contacts and pin contacts desired, as represented in FIG. 5. The range of characteristics of such contacts is great, and the modular inserts, as indicated above are all of the same exterior conformation and therefore they can be selected according to any desired combination of contacts necessary for any given connection. Even with a small number of modules illustrated, in the present case, five, a combination can be achieved. Tooling need be made for each of the modules independently and it is not necessary to tool up for'any combination of modules. Therefore a large number of each of the individual modules may be stocked with a minimum of tooling, and only those modules required in any particular connector, are selected, and they, are arranged in the particular order combination according to the characteristics of the intended connector.
As indicated above, there are many instances in which a miniature connector of special characteristics is needed, but only in small numbers, and therefore the manufacturer can make up such a special connector out of the modules, and the other components of the connector which are standard'or only slightly modified. For example the front shells l6, 28'are standard items, and the back plates 18, 30 are very similar to back plates heretofore utilized in standard connectors, and the tooling required for producing them is minimal, with the further advantage that any cost of tooling therefor is distributable over all of the special connectors assembled having any of the various combinations of modules. A great advantage is realized where such special connectors are to be used in a commercial project, although in small numbers, and also in developement and research where usually even a small number would be required.
1. A miniature connector comprising,
a pair of elongated connector assemblies movable in connecting direction to interfitted position, each connector assembly having a shell envelope including a back plate and a front shell with longitudinally extending end flanges for securing them together, and with a space between the back plate and front shell at a position between the end flanges, of significant dimension in said connecting direction,
the front shell having a tubular portion extending in connecting direction,
insert means in the shell envelope including a plurality of modules disposed in end-to-end relation together extending at least nearly the longitudinal extent of the tubular portion,
the modules having base portions disposed in said space between the back plate and front shell and extending laterally beyond the tubular portion, and having body portions extending into the tubular portion,
the modules having aligned grooves in the base portions receiving the adjacent edges of the tubular portion and the latter serving to confine the modules against transverse displacement, said edges of the tubular portion and the back plate clamping the modules therebetween, and
the modules in the two connector assemblies being adapted for mounting therein of pin contacts and socket contacts respectively, and being of such pattern of distribution of the contacts that the contacts in the mating modules are respectively aligned in the position of the connector assemblies when interfitted.
wherein the interfitting of the connector assemblies is accomplished by frictionally telescoping the front shells in inner and outer relation, and
the modules in the connector assembly having the inner front shell extend to adjacent the front end of that front shell, and the modules in the other connector assembly extend thereinto but to a substantially lesser extent whereby to effect substantial interengagement of the modules in the two connector assemblies in the telescoping interfitting of the connector assemblies.