US 3793613 A
An arrangement for mounting female connector strips, of the type which receive multi-contact printed circuit board terminals (for example), into a flat surface cut-out. The connector strip body is provided with end pieces each including a seating surface which engages but does not pass through the cut-out and integral loops (eyelets) which do pass through the cut-out opposite extremities. Relatively flat but slightly crowned bifurcated clips engage the integral loops (eyelets) so as to hold the strips in place within the cut-out. Assembly time and expense is minimized.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Reichert [451 Feb. 19, 1974 ARRANGEMENT FOR THE MOUNTING OF FEMALE CONNECTOR STRIPS  Inventor: Gunther Reichert, Markgronigen,
Germany  Assignee: International Standard Electric Corporation, New York, N.Y.
 Filed: Aug. 24, 1972  App]. No.: 283,588
 Foreign Application Priority Data Sept 9, 1971 Germany 2145065  US. Cl 339/126 R  Int. Cl HOlr 13/60  Field of Search 339/17, 119, 125, 126; 248/27; 24/201 LP, 201 SL; 85/8.8
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,278,144 10/1966 Dixson et a1 248/27 1,386,918 8/1921 Westrup et al 24/201 LP 2,744,185 5/1956 Cowley 248/27 X 2,869,094 ll1959 Francis 339/126 RS X 2,160,713 5/1939 Bentley 339/126 R X 3,279,729 10/1966 Buttriss 248/27 Primary ExaminerRichard E. Moore Attorney, Agent, or FirmThomas L. Peterson [5 7 ABSTRACT I An arrangement for mounting female connector strips,
of the type which receive multi-contact printed circuit board terminals (for example), into a flat surface cutout. The connector strip body is provided with end pieces each including a seating surface which engages but does not pass through the cut-out and integral loops (eyelets) which do pass through the cut-out opposite extremities. Relatively flat but slightly crowned bifurcated clips engage the integral loops (eyelets) so as to hold the strips in place within the cut-out. Assembly time and expense is minimized.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures ARRANGEMENT FOR THE MOUNTING OF FEMALE CONNECTOR STRIPS CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is filed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 1 19 with claim for the benefit of the filing of an application covering the same invention filed Sept. 9, I971, Ser. No. P 21 45 065.7, in Germany.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to electrical connectors in general, and more specifically to apparatus for mounting female connector strips through flat panel surfaces.
2. Description of the Prior Art In known mounting arrangements for female connector strips of the type with which this invention is here concerned, mounting parts designed as sheet metal strips or wire pieces have been employed, however these do not satisfy the requirement for an economical mass production arrangement. The above-mentioned strip and wire parts are installed by insertion into the eyelets of a female connector strip and must be secured against falling out as a result of mechanical twisting or bending affecting the mounted assembly. Furthermore, the play of the female connector strip in the mounting support is not well defined when employing these prior art mounting parts, and thereby a disadvantageous effect on the functioning of the plug connection results. The manner in which the present invention solves the problem will be hereinafter evident.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It may be said to be the general object of the invention to provide a mounting arrangement for female connector strips which is functionally effective, uses simple parts which may be manufactured economically, and provides for simple and inexpensive assembly of equipment using the invention.
According to the invention the'object is achieved in that, into eyelets provided in the body ends of the female connector strip, novel bifurcated clips having spring legs are inserted around the eyelet end wall. The slightly crowned shape of the clips provides in place pressure against the plate side of the receptacle (panel cutout) and the internal eye-let surface. The mounting of the female connector strip in its mounting support is effected merely by the insertion of the clips, one into the eyelet at each end of the connector strip body, and is held against the pull-out force of an inserted multipoint connector by shoulders on the connector body ends adjacent to the eyelets. In the plug-in direction of the PC board, the female connector strip is connected form-lockingly to its mounting support by the spring deflection force which the clips provide. The mounting support, for example, would consist of a plate or panel with a recess (punch-out or cut-out) into which the connector strip is insertedwith only nominal circumference clearance, except for the aforementioned shoulders, which bear against the panel surface on the side opposite the spring clips. The clip makes possible, the assembly of female connector strips in place in their cut-outs in an extremely short time. It allows a mechanical assembly and mounting of the female connector strips which, when they are arranged in rows, is particularly advantageous. The clips may be installed from magazines, an automatically moved slider inserting them into the eyelets of the female connector strips to a snap-in position.
An important aspect of the mounting arrangement of the invention provides for the clips to have a curvature such that their ends are resting on a flat plate surface while their center parts are elevated. In an advantageous manner, the clip then has the effect of a bent leaf spring with resiliency in the insertion direction (for plugs or circuit boards) inserted into the female connector strip. Owing to the resilient properties of the clip, tolerances in the mounting support of the female connector strip are compensated for. The result is resilience and mobility where needed and rigidity in the direction desired.
In order to insure the proper positioning of the clip during assembly, there may be provided a marking, which is, for instance, a round recess, in the butt of the clip and visible on the convexly bent side.
Still further, for facilitating assembly, the free ends of the spring legs of the clip are designed wedge-shapedly with rounded prong ends.
According to a further feature for simplifying the manufacture of the mounting arrangement, the inner sides of the bifurcated clip spring legs form a bevelled insertion edge leading to a neck which opens out into a wider internal slot (receptacle).
A further characteristic of the mounting arrangement resides in the fact'that the dimensions of the said receptacle (internal clip slot) correspond to the cross section of the eyelet wall of the female connector strip, the latter being gripped by the clip internal slot after completion of equipment assembly.
The low cost manufacture of the mounting arrangement as well as its functional reliability is safeguarded by the fact that the clip may consist either of resilient metal or of a tough, elastic plastic material.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention is described in drawings as follows:
FIG. 1 shows a top view of the clip of the mounting arrangement in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 shows the clip of FIG. I in a side view.
FIG. 3 shows a mounting arrangement for a female connector strip prior to assembly, in an exploded perspective representation.
FIG. 4 shows the mounting arrangement according to FIG. 3 after assembly.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS:
In FIGS. 1 to 4 the clip as part of the mounting arrangement according to the invention is indicated by the reference numeral 1. It consists of resilient metal or of a tough, elastic plastic material. The configuration of the elongated clip 1 resembles that of a U-shaped (bifurcated) bracket with spring prongs or legs 9 arranged close to each other. The clip 1 has the function of a clamping spring. A parital function of this clamping spring is performed in that the clip 1 is of an arch-like design, i.e., is slightly crowned in the flat plane. The arching is provided such that the ends of the clip 1 (adjacent the marking depression 3 and at the prong ends 6) rest on a plane, while its center part is convex or crowned (upward) from the plane.
The convex side 2 of the clip 1 is identified visually by a marking 3 which is arranged for instance as a round recess in the crosspiece connecting the spring legs 9. The free ends of the spring legs 9 are wedgeshaped with rounded ends. Thus, the inner surfaces of the spring legs 9 facing each other form bevelled insertion tracks or edges 6 defining a converging slot 4. The converging slot 4 extends to a constriction 5 and ends up in a wider, generally rectangular opening, constituting the receptacle 7 for the eyelet wall part 12 of the female connector strip (FIG. 3).
The recessed areas (steps) 8 resulting from the shape of the slot constriction 5 and the receptacle (slot) 7 on the inner sides of the spring legs 9 provide a lock-in place feature. For facilitating the assembly of equipment with clip 1, the edges of the spring-leg ends are rounded or bevelled typically at 16.
The clip 1 thus serves as a mounting element for holding a female connector strip 10 which is, for instance, inserted into the recess of a panel 14. The female connector strip 10 is fitted within the recess 15, and is thus supported on the panel 14 with the aid of shoulders 11 (both ends of 10). In the plate 14 there may also be provided several recesses such as 15 arranged in rows. For its mounting,- the connector strip 10 is provided at its ends with eyelets having eyelet walls 12 and an eyelet top 13. The eyelet top 13 engages the crown or convex surface of clip 1 on the inside, so as to constrain 10 between the clip bearing against one side of 14 and shoulders 11 against the other side of 14. I By inserting clips 1 in the eyelets 12 of the connector strip 10 as shown in FIG. 4, the latter is mounted in the recess 15 of the panel (plate) 14. The spring legs 9 separate elastically to pass over the eyelet wall 13, and when the clip 1 snaps in, the two legs 9 spring back, so that the wall 12 is gripped by clip surfaces 8. The spring legs 9 thus fully embrace the eyelet wall 13. A connector strip such as 10, thus mounted with clip spring legs 9 pushed around the eyelet wall 12 as shown in FIG. 4, absorb forces appearing when inserting the multipoint connector or circuit board(s) which the connector 10 is intended to receive.
The word eyelet, as used herein, is intended to describe the parts 12 and 13 at'each end of the female connector body 10. I
The part 12 is referred to as the vertical eyelet wall and the part 13 is called the horizontal eyelet wall in accordance with the FIG. 3 showing. It is to be understood, however, that this is language of convenience and should not be considered a limitation on the physical orientation of the arrangement as a whole.
What is claimed is: 1. Apparatus for mounting an electrical connector body through a cutout in a substantially flat horizontally disposed panel, comprising:
at least one pair of eyelets in said connector body, said eyelets being arranged to extend through a first side of said panel cutout, said eyelets forming a part of the perimeter of said connector body and said perimeter being substantially congruent with said cutout except for fit tolerances, said eyelets of said pair being formed by generally coplanar horizontal eyelet walls adapted to be generally parallel to said panel and generally parallel vertical eyelet walls each joined to one of said horizontal eyelet walls and adapted to be perpendicular to said panel;
at least one shoulder on said connector body opposite each of said eyelets, said shoulders being arranged to bear against the second side of said panel adjacent to said cutout to determine the amount of extension of said eyelets beyond said panel first side;
and means including an elongated, generally flat, bi-
furcated clip of relatively thin resilient material for each said eyelet, each of said clips having prongs slideably engaged about said vertical eyelet wall.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said clips are centrally crowned with respect to the plane such that the ends of said prongs and the butt portion of said clip opposite said prongs are engageable with said panel first side and the central crowned portions of said clips each bear against the inside of said horizontal eyelet wall.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which said prongs are generally wedge-shaped to facilitate sliding engagement over said vertical eyelet wall.
4. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which the clearance between said prongs narrows from the extremities of said prongs inward toward the butt of said clip, through a neck portion smaller than the thickness of said vertical eyelet wall, and then into a generally rectangular slot wider than said neck and sized to fit over said vertical eyelet wall, said clips being adapted to spring open elastically as they are inserted and then to seat by snap action over said vertical eyelet wall.