US 3796984 A
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Unite States Patent [191 Selinko ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL CONNECTQR FOR TWO PART PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE 75] Inventor: George J Selinko, Lighthouse Point,
 Assignee: Motorola Inc., Franklin Park, 111.  Filed: Aug. 9, 1972  Appl. No.: 279,203
 U.S. Cl. 339/88 R, 325/356, 339/91 R,
339/152, 339/147 R  Int. Cl H0lr 13/54  Field of Search 179/1 PC; 136/1, 181;
325/16, 356; 339/75 R, 75 M, 91,152, 65, 823,184-188,16 RC, 127, 147, 189; 285/401, 402; 403/316, 348, 349
Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay Assistant Examiner-Lawrence J. Staab Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Mueller, Aichele & Gillman [451 Mar. i2, 197
57 ABSTRACT The connector mechanically connects a battery containing housing to a second housing containing electronic equipment and makes electrical connection from the battery to the equipment. The interconnect ing parts may be molded of plastic material and may be integral with the housings. One part has a projection with a lip extending therefrom and the other has an opening to receive the projection with a recess to receive the lip when the projection is rotated within the opening. An arcuate shaped rib spaced from the projection and concentric therewith is received in an arcuate shaped concentric recess in the other part when the projection is rotated within the opening to provide a two-point interconnection of the two housing parts. A spring biased latch may prevent rotation to hold the parts assembled until the latch is disengaged. Resilient contacts on one part engage contacts on the other part when the connector is engaged to electrically interconnect the two housing parts. The connector can be used for a portable electronic device, such as a radio, to disengageably connect a battery housing to an equipment housing. Such connectors can be used to connect the battery housing to the equipment housing through a cable.
18 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Wide use has developed for battery operated portable electrical devices. These devices normally have housings with covers which may be removed to provide access to the batteries in the housing for replacing the same. Covers have been provided which are easily removed with implements readily available, such as a coin, to facilitate replacement of the batteries. However, it has been found that the covers become lost or damaged so that they do not properly fit onto the housing. Also, it may be necessary to make the housing for the device larger than. desired in order to provide space for available batteries which have the required characteristics.
It has been proposed to provide batteries in a housing which can be attached to anequipment housing, so that it is not necessary to open a housing to change the batteries and so that the space required for the batteries is minimal. However, such structures have not been entirely satisfactory because available connectors suitable for quick disconnection do not provide the required secure interconnection between the two parts. Also, connectors available for making mechanical and electrical connections between parts are not particularly suitable for use in many applications. It is, of course, common to provide a mechanical and electrical connection between a light bulb and a socket, both by use of a SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide a mechanical and electrical connecting structure for connecting the battery part and an equipment part of a portable device, wherein a detachable rigid interconnection between the parts is obtained.
A further object of the invention is to provide a mechanical interconnecting structure for housing parts which is of simple and inexpensive construction.
Another object of the invention is to provide an interconnecting structure for detachably connecting housing parts wherein the interconnecting structure can be molded of plastic material or die cast of metal in a single piece.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an interconnecting structure for making mechanical and electrical interconnection between two parts, whereby interconnection is accomplished by simple movement of the parts with respect to each other, and which provides substantial interengaging contact for a secure mechanical interconnection.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an interconnecting structure for parts of an electrical device wherein resilient electrical contacts are arranged for wiping action with other contacts as the parts are interconnected.
In practicing the invention, a housing for a portable electronic device, such as a radio, is provided having a first housing part for the electronic equipment and a -2 second housing part for the battery for energizing the equipment. The interconnection is provided by spaced projections on one part and openings or recesses in the other part for receiving the projections to provide a secure interconnection. One projection may be of cylindrical configuration with a protruding lip which extends in a cylindrical openingwhich is cut-away to pass the lip and a cavity to receive the lip for providing a locking engagement with the lip when the cylindrical projection is rotated. The second projection is of concentric arcuate shape, with a wedge shaped crosssection which fits into a complementary arcuate shaped recess or slot'in the other part; The arcuate projection slides in the arcuate recess as the cylindrical projection rotates within the circular opening.
A latching device secured to one part may engage a shoulder on the other part to prevent movement therebetween, as required to disengage the parts. The latching device can be moved into a recess, out of the way of the shoulder, when it is desired to intentionally disconnect the parts. One part can have resilient electrical contacts which engage fixed contacts of the other part when the parts are in the interconnected position to make electrical connections therebetween, as between a battery in the one part and electronic equipment in the other part. The connector structure can also be used to provide connection to a cable for connecting housings which are physically separate.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows a portable radio having two housing parts interconnected by the connector of the invention;
FIG. 2 shows the female part of the connector;
FIG. 3 shows the male part of the connector;
FIG. 4 is a cross-section along the lines 44 of FIG. 1 showing the interconnected parts; and
FIG. 5 illustrates the connection of the housing parts by use of a cable and two connectors in accordance with the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 shows a radio device having a top housing 10 which includes the electronic circuitry, with controls 12 extending at the top for turning the device on and off and providing other desired controls. An antenna 14, which may be a telescoping rod antenna, extends vertically from the top of housing 10. The radio device may be a receiver only with a loudspeaker back of the grill opening 15, or may be a transmitter and receiver with a microphone and speaker back of the grill 15. The device could be a transmitter only, of course, with a microphone back of the grill 15. The radio device is operated from batteries contained in the second housing 16. The housing parts can be molded of plastic material or die cast in metal, with the housing 16 formed directly about the batteries, so that a separate case is not required. It will be apparent that the device can be something other than a radio, such as an electric shaver, which is battery operated.
FIG. 2 shows the bottom of the housing 10 with the mechanical and electrical connecting structure thereon being illustrated. Although the device is illustrated as having a rectangular cross-section, the connector can be provided on a housing of any other configuration. The housing includes a cylindrical opening 18 with a cut-out 20 on one side thereof. Spaced from the cylindrical opening is an arcuate shaped slot 22 having one side 23 which is slanting or undercut so that the crosssection of the slot is wedge shaped. The arcuate slot 22 is concentric with the cylindrical opening 18.
FIG. 3 shows the upper portion of the battery housing 16, which has a cylindrical projection 24 to be: received in the cylindrical opening 18 in the housing 10. The projection 24 has a protruding lip 26 which will fit into the cut-out to permit the projection 24 to be inserted in the opening 18, when the housing 16 is in one rotary position with respect to the housing 10. The opening 18 has an undercut portion 21 adjacent the recess 20 forming a cavity, so that when the housing 16 is rotated with respect to the housing 10, the protruding lip 26 fits into the cavity 21to lock the two housing parts together.
The battery portion 16 also has a projecting rib 28 which is of arcuate shape, and which has a protruding edge 29 forming a wedge shaped cross-section. The rib 28 is concentric with the projection 24 and fits into the slot 22, with the protruding edge 29 thereof extending within the spaced provided by the slanting side 23 of the slot 22. As the rib 28 is wider at its extremity, and the slot 22 has a complementary cross-section, the rib is retained in the slot. The rib 28 has a projecting end 30 extending at the trailing edge which abuts against the edge of the side 23 of the slot. As the cylindrical projection 24 is rotated within the opening 18, the rib 28 which is concentric with the projection will enter the slot 22 until the projecting end engages the end 25 of the side Lion the housing 10.
FIG. 4 shows a cross-section of the housing parts 10 and 16 when in connected relation. It will be noted that the projection 24 is within the opening 18, with the lip 26 within the recess 21 to provide an interlocking connection. Similarly, the rib 28 is within the slot 22, with the slanting edge 29 held under the slanting side 23 of the slot. That is, the wedge shaped rib 28 is held within the wedge shaped slot 22 to provide a second spaced concentric interlocking connection between the housing parts 10 and 16. The housing parts 10 and 16 can be molded of plastic material or die cast in metal, with the projection 24 and rib 28 formed integrally with the housing 16, and the opening 18 and slot 22 formed directly in the housing 10. The parts when molded or die cast can have an interference fit which produces a tight fit and compensates for wear.
To prevent unintentional disengagement of the housing parts 10 and 16, a latch device 32 is provided. The device 32 includes a slide 33 mounted in a. recess 34 provided in the housing 10, as shown in FIG. 4. A pro jection 35, extending from the slide 33, extends into the slot 22 (FIG. 2). The projection 35 may be a screw threaded in the slide 33, as shown in FIG. 4. The slide 33 has an angularly extending end 36 against which a spring 37 operates to hold the projection 35 in engaged position in the slot 22. The outside of the end 36 forms a pushbutton for moving the slide 33 so that the screw 35 moves out of the slot 22 into the recess 38 (FIG. 2). The end of rib 28 may have a slanting surface 31 (FIG. 3)'which engages the screw 35 to move the same into recess 38, so that the rib 28 can move into the slot 22. When the housing parts are connected together and rib 28 is positioned in slot 22, the screw 35 will drop into notch 39 in rib 28 to latch the parts in this position. To release the latch 32, the pushbutton end 36 can be depressed to move the slide 33 so that the screw 35 moves out of the notch 39 and into the recess 38, and the rib 28 can then slide out of the recess 22.
For interconnecting the battery with the circuit within the housing 10, battery contacts 40 are provided on the housing 16 in the space between the projection 24 and the rib 28. Secured to the housing 10 are contacts 42 which have ends with contact surfaces 44 for engaging the contacts 40 on the battery housing 16.
The contact surfaces 44 are spring biased to provide I resilient pressure against the contacts 40. This may be provided by a leaf spring structure, or byproviding coil springs back of the contact surfaces 44. When the housing parts 10 and 16 are interconnected, the rotary movement required to bring the housing parts into in terlocked relation causes the contacts 44 to wipe over the contacts 40 to insure effective electrical interconnection therebetween.
Additional contacts 46 may be provided on the housing 10 in the space which is covered by the housing 16 when the housings are interconnected for metering the circuits contained within this housing. During testing and metering operations, connections can be made to the contacts 44 for energizing the circuitswithin housing 10, and the contacts 46 provide metering connections.
- It may be desired to have a replaceable fuse in the equipment housing 10 and this can be enclosed by fuse cap 48 provided at the base of the opening 18. The projection 24 of housing 16 can have a recess 49 in the center thereof to provide clearance for the fuse cap 48.
In some applications it may be desired to position the battery remote from the equipment and interconnect the same by a cable. For example, it may be desirable to use a larger battery which will be objectionably large and heavy to use with a portable device. In such case, the housing 10 can be used without modification with a connector 50 formed like the upper part of the housing 16 connected thereto. This is shown in FIG. 5. The connector 50 can be connected by a cable 52 to another connector 54, which can be constructed like the bottom end of the housing 10. The housing 52 can then be connected to the battery housing 16. The battery housing 16 can be exactly the same as has been described for use directly connected to the equipment housing, or can be larger for providing a power supply with a greater capacity. The connector 50 can have contacts for connection to the metering contacts 46, as well as to contacts 44.
The connecting structure described has been found to provide a secure interconnection between two housing parts with inter-engagement between the parts at two spaced points for a secure mechanical connection. One connection is provided by the cylindrical projection which acts to position the parts properly so that the concentric arcuate rib will slide into the arcuate slot. The lip on the projection is held in a recess, and the rib is held in the slot at a spaced position to provide a secure interconnection. The electrical connection between the housing parts is improved by the wiping action produced when the parts are interconnected. The connecting structure is very simple and can be easily formed integrally with the housings, either by molding of plastic material or die casting in metal.
I. A portable battery operated electric device including in combination,
a first housing part containing electrically energizable equipment therein,
a second housing part for containing a battery therein,
said first and second parts having means for detachably interconnecting the same including,
an unsymmetrical projection on one part and a mating opening in the other part, said projection and said opening having a first relative position wherein said projection is insertable into said opening and a second rotary displaced relative position wherein said projection is retained in said opening, and
an elongated arcuate-shaped rib in fixed position on one of said housing parts and a slot in the other housing part for receiving said rib, said rib being moved into locking engagement within said slot as said projection is rotated to said second position within said opening, said rib and said slot having configurations such that said rib is held by said slot throughout the length of said rib.
2. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said projection has a projecting lip and said opening has a cut-out for allowing passage of said lip when said parts are in said first position and said opening has a cavity for receiving and retaining said lip when said parts are in said second position.
3. A device in accordance with claim 2 wherein said rib has a wedge shaped cross-section with the greater thickness at its extremity, and said slot has a complementary cross-section 'to receive and retain said rib.
4. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said projection is of cylindrical shape and said arcuate shaped rib is concentric with said projection.
5. A device in accordance with claim 4 wherein said projection and said rib are on said first housing part, and are spaced from each other to provide interconnection between said first and second housing parts at two spaced areas.
6. The device of claim 1 wherein said means for detachably interconnecting said housing parts are formed integrally with said parts.
7. The device of claim 1 wherein said housing parts are molded of plastic material with said means for detachably interconnecting the same integrally molded therewith.
8. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said second housing part is molded of plastic material with battery means therein.
9. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said housing parts are die cast in metal, with said means for detachably interconnecting the same formed integrally with said parts.
10. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first and second parts include electrical contacts, with the contacts on one part being spring biased to provide wiping engagement during movement of said parts from said first position to said second position, and pro- 6 viding spring biased engagement when said parts are in said second position.
11. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said second part includes contacts for connection to a battery therein, and said first part includes spring biased contacts for engaging said contacts on said second part when said parts are in said second position.
12. A device in accordance with claim 1 further including a latch for latching said parts against relative rotation when said parts are in said second position.
13. A device in accordance with claim 12 wherein said latch includes a slide connected to said first housing part and having a projection adapted to engage a notch on said second housing part when said parts are in said second position, said slide being adapted to be moved to a position wherein said projection is clear of said notch to permit rotation of said parts from said second position to said first position.
14. A device in accordance with claim 13, wherein said projection extends into said slot, and said notch is formed in said rib, with said latch including means biasing said slide in a position to move said projection into said notch.
15. A device in accordance with claim 14 wherein said rib has a slanting end for engaging said projection to move the same to a position to permit movement 0 said rib into said slot.
16. A connecting device for mechanically interconnecting a pair of separable parts including in combination,
a cylindrical projection on one part having a projecting lip at the extremity thereof,
a cylindrical opening in the other part for receiving said projection and having a recess into which said lip can be inserted and a cavity for receiving said lip when said cylindrical projection is rotated within said opening,
an elongated arcuate-shaped rib concentric with said projection in fixed position on one of the parts and having a wedge shaped cross-section with the greater thickness at the extremity thereof, and
an arcuate slot in the other part having a crosssection complementary to that of said rib forreceiving said rib as said projection is rotated within said opening, said slot holding said rib therein throughout the length of said rib.
17. A device in accordance with claim 16 further including a latch for holding said parts in position with said lip within said cavity and said rib within said slot.
18. A device in accordance with claim 17 furtherincluding electrical contacts on the parts for making electrical connection therebetween, with said contacts being engaged upon movement of said parts so that said lip is within said cavity and said rib is within said slot.