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Publication numberUS3798587 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 19, 1974
Filing dateJan 17, 1972
Priority dateJan 17, 1972
Also published asCA987015A1, DE2301398A1, DE2301398B2, DE2301398C3
Publication numberUS 3798587 A, US 3798587A, US-A-3798587, US3798587 A, US3798587A
InventorsEllis B, Mcgonigal C, Scholly C, Snyder J
Original AssigneeBell Telephone Labor Inc, Ellis B, Mcgonigal, Scholly C, Snyder J, Western Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Devices for making electrical connections
US 3798587 A
Abstract
Connectors made from a flat strip of electrically conductive material, each having a center portion with two oppositely extending bifurcated portions cantilevered therefrom, a free end of each of the furcations being tapered and formed with a double bevel, are mounted individually between partitions formed in a first plastic part and secured therein against unintended lateral and longitudinal movement. A second mating plastic part is assembled to the first plastic part to form a connector block assembly having opposed rows of alternating depth teeth protruding from one side of the block with fanning slots formed between adjacent ones of the teeth, and having spaced legs extending from an opposite side of the block. Inwardly projecting guide fins formed on the legs and aligned with associated ones of the fanning slots extend into openings formed in a lower portion of each of the pins to further lock the connectors.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Ellis, Jr. et a1.

[ Mar. 19, 1974 DEVICES FOR MAKING ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS [75] Inventors: Benjamin Clement Ellis, Jr., Snellville; Christian Scholly, Atlanta; Charles McGonigal, Grayson, all of Ga; John Howard Snyder, Fallston. Md.

[22] Filed: Jan. 17, 1972 Appl. No.: 218,358

[52] US. Cl 339/97 P, 339/91 R, 339/125 R, 339/210 M, 339/218 M [51] Int. Cl H0111 9/08 [58] Field of Search 339/91, 95, 9799, 339/125, 210, 218

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3.611.264 10/1971 Ellis. Jr. 339/99 R 3.699.498 10/1972 Hardesty et al 339/99 R 3.239.796 3/1966 Buchanan et al.... 339/97 P 3.496.522 2/1970 Ellis. Jr. et al...... 339/99 R 2.333.266 11/1943 Miller 339/97 R 3.027.536 3/1962 Pasternak 339/97 R 3.132.913 5/1964 Pohl 339/97 P 3.233.209 2/1966 Lazar et a1. 339/210 R 3.617.983 11/1971 Patton 339/98 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 692.074 6/1940 Germany 339/210 R 615.737 l/l949 Great Britain 339/95 R Primary Examiner-Joseph H. McGlynn Attorney. Agent. 0r Firm E. W. Somers [57] ABSTRACT Connectors made from a flat strip of electrically conductive material, each having a center portion with two oppositely extending bifurcated portions cantilevered therefrom. a free end of each of the furcations being tapered and formed with a double bevel. are mounted individually between partitions formed in a first plastic part and secured therein against unintended lateral and longitudinal movement. A second mating plastic part is assembled to the first plastic part i to form a connector block assembly having opposed rows of alternating depth teeth protruding from one side of the block with fanning slots formed between adjacent ones of the teeth, and having spaced legs extending from an opposite side of the block. inwardly projecting guide fins formed on the legs and aligned with associated ones of the fanning slots extend into openings formed in a lower portion of each of the pins to further lock the connectors.

The connector block assembly is mounted on a plastic index strip having opposed rows of alternate depth teeth with fanning slots between adjacent teeth for receiving first conductors straddled across the opposed associated slots. During mounting, the guide fins align the fanning slots in the connector block and the index strip, and the first conductors are caused to be moved along the beveled edges of the connectors which slice through the insulation, after which the conductors are moved through rounded entrance portions and between the furcations of one bifurcated portion of asociated connectors to establish electrical contact between one bifurcated portion of each of the connectors and the associated first conductor. Second conductors are moved into the fanning slots of the connector block assembly between the furcations of the other bifurcated portions of the connectors to establish an electrical connection with the associated ones of the first conductors.

25 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures Pmmmm 19 1914 3.; 798,587

SHEET 1 OF 3 PATENTED MAR l 9 I974 SHEET 2 (IF 3 PATENTED MAR 19 I974 SHEET 3 HF 3 DEVICES FOR MAKING ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to improved devices for making electrical connections and more particularly to devices for making simultaneously interconnections between a multiplicity of conductors in telephone lines of a communications system without first removing the insulative covering from the conductors and including provisions for maintaining the connections until the need arises for discontinuing the connections.

2. Description of the Prior Art and Technical Considerations Generally, wire connecting operations in the past have required the time-consuming and costly tasks of skinning, placing and then connecting. In the telephone industry, for example, millions of wire terminations are made each year. Moreover, with the advent of increased business dependency on telephone communications, there has been a rapid increase in the number of more complex installations and additions to service. The increasing task of installing and rearranging, measured both in cost and in time required on customer premises has established the need for terminals that would significantly reduce this effort and expedite the provision of telephone service.

It should be apparent that conventional screw type terminal blocks have a number of inherent disadvantages. This is particularly true when the terminal blocks are used to provide interconnections between the individual conductors of communication cables and the accompanying terminal equipment. These disadvantages,

which include wasted space and high labor costs in making such interconnections have been overcome to some extent by connecting blocks that employ insulation-penetrating clip-type connectors. It is common for connectors of this type to operate on the principle of crushing the insulation during the engagement of the conductor with the electrically conductive portion of the connector.

One example of a clip-type connector which was devised to overcome these problems is described in W. Pferd et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,112,147 issued Nov. 26, 1963, and discloses a device for making electrical connections in which insulated conductors are connected to terminals without first removing the insulation from the wire at the zone of connection. The terminals are made from a flat sheet of electrically conductive resilient material such as Phosphor bronze in which a slit is sheared to form two adjacent legs. A multiplicity of terminals which may be joined together in a common strip may be incorporated into a connector board or socket. The flat strip of electrically conductive material is bifurcated from near a free end to a prepunched elongated slot. The elongated slot near the integral base portion of the terminal permits sufficient deflection of one arm of the terminal during the formation of the terminal. When no electrical conductor is forced between the bifurcated jaws, the sheared edges thereof are in contiguous contact with each other, thereby insuring adequate electrical contact when an electrical conductor is forced therebetween. One arm or furcation has a rounded end with the other arm being longer and having a sidewise protrusion extending over the rounded free end to form a conductor-receiving passage. Electrical conductors are forced between the bifurcated arms with the insulation being crushed to establish electrical engagement between the conductors and the terminals.

The use of larger size conductors with the abovedescribed connectors often forced the legs of the connector apart to the point where the elastic limit of the material of the connector was exceeded. This may result in incomplete removal of the insulation and improper or no electrical contact. Moreover, the connector could not be re-used, particularly for smaller gauge conductors, because of the residual deformation remaining after being overstressed. This may be overcome by spreading apart the legs prior to plating sufficiently to overstress the material of the connector and exceed the elastic limit thereof such that a gap is left between the legs due to residual deformation.

An insulation-penetrating clip-type connector of this type is shown in A. Logan, U.S. Pat. No. 3,394,454 issued July 30, 1968. A terminal includes a pair of electrically conductive elongated jaws joined at one end and free at the other. A spacer which is produced by deforming the inner edges of the elements holds the free ends spaced apart a distance equal to or less than the diameter of the conductor. The spacing apart of the jaws facilitates electroplating with a wear and corrosion resistant material such as tin in accordance with conventional techniques so that the connector may be readily utilized in corrosive environments. Moreover, the construction of the jaws permits the penetration and tearing apart of the insulative material to tightly clamp and bite into the conductive portion of the insulated conductor. The provision of the space between the jaws does not sacrifice the resiliency of the jaws nor the force which the jaws exert on an insulative conductor held therebetween. Also see U.S. Pat. No. 3,521,221 issued July 21, 1970.

In these quick-clip connectors, the penetration of the insulation is obtained by compressive forces applied to the conductor during seating of the conductor in the slot of the connector by the beams of the connector and a precision tool. Problems may arise with the heretofore used quick-clip connectors in that newly developed insulative coverings may be more difficult to penetrate. Also, considerable care must be exercised in using the tool to seat the conductors. Moreover, the tool must be manufactured to close tolerances.

It is therefore one object of the present invention to provide a device for making electrical connections such that the device may be reused and which facilitates the connection of conductors having any of a variety of insulative coverings without the use of precision hand tools.

It is also an object of this invention to provide devices for making electrical connections while minimizing any mechanical damage to the conductors.

The prior art also includes several patents which deal with multiple terminal block arrangements. One such example is that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,239,796 in which a block includes a connector unit having a U- shape with pronged slots formed in opposing upstanding portions of the connecting unit. In use, conductors are pushed into the slots spanning across the connector unit with curved outer ends of the slots pushing the insulation on the conductors off only at the four contact points of the wire with the sides of the pronged slots,

the remaining insulation automatically providing a seal for the bared four contact points.

In Paul, US. Pat. No. 3,377,611 there is shown a solderless, rigid electrical connector having a thickness substantially greater than the diameter of a wire to be received in a parallel-sided slot therein. The width of the slot is smaller than the diameter of the wire with the slot having a flared entrance portion so that the wire is compressed as it is forced into the slot in order to maintain pressure contact with the connector to provide a reliable electrical connection.

in one prior art patent, US. Pat. No. 3,132,913 there is shown a device including a multiple interconnection device formed from a continuous filament of round springy electrically conductive wire stock in which wires are received between opposing resilient contact members which form closed loops. The wires are formed with double cantilever arms acting on the ends of the contact sections of each pair to cause the resil ient wires to penetrate the insulation of a conductor inserted therebetween and establish positive electrical contact. Moreover, as can be seen in the drawings accompanying that patent, a connector of that construction may also be engaged with conductive paths formed on printed circuit substrates which are inserted between the double cantilevered contact members of the continuous filament loops.

Despite these advances in terminal block art, there still existed a need for additional simplification in the terminal block structures in combination with facilities for additional flexibility and versatility of the terminal. it had been found that some of the commercially available connecting blocks were either so simplified in construction so as to be limited to very specific needs or so complex that the cost thereof was prohibitive.

As a first effort in providing a device for connecting the many conductors inherent in telephone communications systems, a flat bottom U-shaped wire indexing block was made of a rigid plastic material and formed with groups of wire fanning slots in the side walls thereof. A terminal block constructed in accordance with these principles is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,496,522 issued on Feb. 17, 1970 in the name of B. C. Ellis, Jr. et a1. Longitudinal grooves fromed in the bottom of the block accommodate the ends of insulationpenetrating clips of interfitting connecting blocks modules. The clips are symmetrical and extend from the top to the bottom of the blocks to facilitate piggyback stacking. Moreover, the clips have coined edges on the wire contacting surfaces thereof to insure positive penetration of insulative material Without unduly heavy clip construction.

The base block in the above-mentioned patent includes no insulation-penetrating facilities but rather serves as a form of indexing strip that provides for the selective grouping and designation of the individual conductors of a cable. Wires are inserted into the fanning slots and stretched across spaced grooves that extend longitudinally along the inner surface of the bottom of the block.

The terminal clips are double ended and each is inserted in a module block so that a first pair of opposing coined edge cantilever beams extend from the top of the block and a second integral pair extend from the bottom of the block. When a module block is positioned with the bottom protruding clips in registry with the wires prepositioned in the base block, electrical connection is effected by urging the module block downwardly. Successive piggyback connections of this type provide sufficient flexibility to meet a wide variety of interconnection requirements.

A recently issued patent, US. Pat. No. 3,444,504 shows an electrical connector having stabilizing facilities with a forked free floating contact section. The contact section and the stabilizing portion are disposed in a passageway of a housing made from a dielectric material. with the connector having extending ears for engaging the ledged portion of the passageway to stabilize the connector while permitting freedom of movement of the contact section for mating alignment with another electrical connector. The other ends of the contact section include beveled surfaces having channels formed therein so that at the initial points of contact between the contact section and say a compli mentary contact section of another electrical terminal, a decreased contact area is provided which thereby de fines wear points that will lengthen the useable life of the terminal.

In an application filed Dec. 27, 1968. Ser. No. 787,453 in the name of B. C. Ellis, Jr., now. US. Pat. No. 3,611,264, improvements to the specific design and configuration of the indexing strips and associated connection block shown in US. Pat. No. 3,496.522 are made. For example, the combs of the patented indexing strip were widely spaced with the wires supported therein spanning a relatively wide groove. This permitted wire slack to occur with accompanying increased risk of wire misalignment with the connectors of the block. Additional costs were also incurred because of increased labor costs for wire installation. Also. the connectors of the block were staggered, making for a relatively wide connector block. Additionally, the patented design was found to require more space than was actually necessary for support of an electrical connection to the telephone line wires. A further problem with the foregoing patented connecting block and strip arrangement resides in the manner of interlocking the block and the strip. It is desirable that once the block is applied to the strip, that the block remain attached thereto.

Accordingly, the improved connecting block disclosed in the aforementioned US. Pat. No. 3,611,264 includes an indexing strip made of a plastic material with two narrowly spaced rows of teeth. The insulating line wires are placed across the slots between the teeth. A connecting block having corresponding rows of teeth straddles the teeth in the indexing strip with connec tors, interference fitted into the connecting block, being guided into insulation-piercing contact with associated ones of the wires. Facilities are provided for locking the blocks and the strips subsequent to engage ment, wqith provisions for releasing the connection therebetween.

In considering the construction of wire connecting blocks for handling a plurality of interconnection such as that disclosed in the aboveidentified Ellis U.S. Pat. No. 3,611,264, it has been found that improvements may be made in order to facilitate the mass production of these units. For example, it has been found that the forceful insertion of the connectors having locking arms extending laterally from the plane of the pin connector is not accomplished without the accrual of certain problems. For example, on a mass production basis it was estimated that the pin connectors upon insertion could cant to such a degree that the conductors are not aligned with the slots of the pin connectors and the subsequent relative movement between the connecting block and conductors may result in the conductors missing the slot.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide improved devices for establishing electrical connections in a telephone key system wiring pattern while preserving the miniatureization, the flexibility and versatility of the wire connecting block in the latter Ellis patent.

Moreover, the pin connector shown in the Ellis U.S. Pat. No. 3,61 1,264 included a U-shaped groove formed between beveled free ends of arms extending from a central body portion. The intersection of the knife edges of the V-shaped groove with the walls of the conductor receiving slot are well defined and extremely sharp which may have resulted in the degradation of the wire material of conductors moved into the conductor receiving slot.

It is therefore another object of this invention to provide devices for making electrical connectors in which the undesired deforming of the conductor portion of the conductors is avoided.

In the aforementioned Ellis patent, the connector was formed with a U-shaped groove between two beveled knife edges. The knife edges were beveled in one direction only and it had been found, because of the formation thereof, to include wire deforming burrs. Therefore, still another object of this invention is to provide a device for making electrical connectors which have improved entrance portions for the conductor-receiving slots.

In manufacturing the miniature connectors, provisions were sought for controlling the width of the slot formed between the opposing arms on each side of the central body portion It was believed that improvements were required under the forming process for the electrical connectors shown in the Logan US. Pat. No. 3,234,498 in order to insure controlled spacing of the arms of the connector.

In the latter issued Ellis patent, the teeth of the connecting block assembly which locate, isolate and strainrelieve individual cross-connect wires, and of the index strip, are all of the same height and otherwise not differentiated. This may present some problems during installation and perhaps increase the time required to align conductors with correct ones of the fanning slots between adjacent ones of the teeth.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide improvements to the above-described miniature connectors to facilitate identification of conductorreceiving facilities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide improved miniature devices for making electrical connections between associated conductors without priorly removing the insulative coverings and such that the connectors may be reused repeatedly without damaging the connector or the conductors to facilitate rearrangements in telephone key wiring systems.

It is also an object of this invention to provide improvements in miniature type electrical connectors to facilitate the automatic manufacture and assembly thereof.

A further object of this invention is to provide an improved device for making electrical connections which may be relied on to establish electrical engagement with insulated conductors in environments subject to temperature extremes.

A still further object of this invention is to provide an improved device for making electrical connections between pairs of first conductors and pairs of second conductors over a wide range of gauge sizes and having facilities for visually identifying the tip and ring circuits.

With these and other objects in mind, the present invention contemplates an improved device for making electrical connections which includes a connecting block assembly, which includes mating dielectric parts having facilities for receiving a conductor, the mating dielectric parts having connector-receiving and securing facilities formed therein, and an electrically conductive connector designed to be received in the connector-receiving facilities of one of the mating parts prior to assembly with the other mating part and designed to be secured within the connecting block assembly when the parts are mated, the connector having first and second insulation penetrating ends, the first end adapted to become engaged electrically and to maintain electrical engagement with a conductor posi tioned in the connecting block assembly, the second end depending from the connecting block assembly, and a mounting strip made from a dielectric material having facilities for supporting conductors to confine individually each of the conductors in securing engagement therewith, the mounting strip having openings for receiving the depending second ends of the connectors. Further, the mounting strip is designed to have the connecting block assembly mounted thereon with the depending portion of the connector caused to become engaged electrically with the second conductors when the connecting block assembly is mounted on the mounting strip. The connecting block assembly has a cavity complementary to at least portions of the mounting strip to facilitate mounting the connecting block assembly on the mounting strip.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and features of the present invention will be more readily understood from the following detailed description of specific embodiments thereof when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective showing an index strip and an exploded view in perspective of a connecting block assembly which is mounted to the index strip to form an improved electrical connecting device which embodies the principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view which shows one of the index strips being mounted on a back panel to form a wiring block, and with a connecting block assembly aligned therewith for mounting to the index strip;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a quick-clip connector which is included in the connector block assembly to connect electrically ones of conductors held in fanning slots thereof to associated ones of conductors supported in fanning slots in the index strip;

FIG. 4 is a detail view of an insulation-piercing end of one of the quick-clip connectors;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a portion of the insulation-piercing end of one of the connectors shown in FIG. 4 taken along lines 5-5 and showing an alternative embodiment thereof;

FIG. 6 is an exploded elevational view partially in section showing a connector block assembly aligned with the index strip for mating engagement therewith;

FIG. 7 is a detail view in side elevation of the index strip;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of an improved index strip having facilities for securing all expected gauge conductors firmly within the fanning slots thereof;

FIG. 9 is an end section view of the improved index strip of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an elevational view partially in section of the connector block assembly mounted to the index strip;

FIG. 11 is a detail view showing the mounting of a portion of one of the index strips on the back panel of FIG. 2; and

FIG 12 is an enlarged view of a modified quickclip connector.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an overall view of a portion of a connecting arrangement, designated generally by the numeral 30, in which a plurality of insulated conductors 31-31 are to be connected electrically to associated ones of a plurality of electrical conductors 32-32. The connecting arrangement 30 includes an index strip 33 with ones of the conductors 31-31 attached to the index strip after which selected connecting block assemblies, designated generally by the numeral 34-34, are moved into selective engagement with the index strips. Subscribers communication equipment is connected into the overall communications system by an installer moving ones ofthe conductors 32-32 into electrical engagement with selected ones of the connecting block assemblies 34-34. In use, ones of the index strips 33-33 are mounted on a back panel 36. The combination of the back panel 36 and the index strips 33-33 mounted thereon is referred to as a wiring block, designated generally by the numeral 37.

As can best be seen in FIG. 1, the connecting block assembly 34 includes a quick-clip connector 41 (see FIG. 3) secured between first and second mating plastic parts 42 and 43. The quick-clip connector 41 is made from a flat strip of electrically conductive resilient material such as Phosphor bronze and has a central portion 44 with two pair of oppositely extending tapered beams 46-46 cantilevered therefrom. It should be apparent from FIG. 3 that the quick-clip connector 41 is symmetrical with respect to each of the longitudinal and transverse X-Y-Z coordinate axes thereof. Also, because of the resilient nature of the material, the quick-clip connectors 41-41 may be used repeatedly.

The beams 46-46 of each pair of beams extending from the central body portion 44 define an elongated slot 47 which cooperates with portions of the parts 42 and 43 to secure the connector therewithin when the parts are mated. The free end portions of each pair of the beams are somewhat enlarged over those portions defining the slot 47 to present adjacent contacting faces 48 and 49 for gripping one of the conductors 32-32 therebetween.

The possibility exists that because of various types of conductors that might be used in conjunction with the quick-clip connector 41, conditions might exist for creating a corrosive type environment. Corrosion could develop between the contacting faces of the beams 46-46 and associated ones of the conductors 3 -32 held therebetween. This problem may be circumvented by plating with conventional techniques the conductor contacting faces 48 and 49 of the beams 46-46.

This may be accomplished by deforming the quickclip connector 41 prior to assembly with the parts 42 and 43 in such a fashion as to spring apart and maintain a spacing between the free end portions of the beams 46-46. The deformation of the free end portions of the beams 46-46 is accomplished so that portions 51-51 adjacent each ofthe elongated slots 47-47 are deformed into contiguous abutting relation with each other to maintain the beams spaced apart and to form a conductor-receiving slot 52. The formation of the abutting portions 51-51 is performed so that the width of the conductor-receiving slot 52 is less than the diam eter of the insulated conductor 32 and less than the diameter of the conductor portion thereof.

The connectors 41-41 are constructed to facilitate reception of ones of the conductors 32-32 and the establishment of electrical engagement therewith. The free ends of the beams 46-46 are formed with tapered portions 53-53 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) to form a V- shaped entrance for receiving selected ones of the insulated conductors 32-32. Moreover, in referring to FIG. 4, it can be seen that the tapered end portions 53-53 of the beams 46-46 are manufactured with double-beveled knife or slicing edges 54-54 which are used to initially slice through the insulation of a conductor 32 which is moved into the Vshaped entrance of the quick-clip connector 41.

It should be observed from FIG. 4 that the innermost portions 55-55 of the knife edges 54-54 are formed with a radius. This enhances the entry of one of the conductors 32-32 into the conductor-receiving slot 52. After an installer has moved the conductor 32 into the flared entrance with accompanying slicing through of the insulative covering, the installer then moves the conductor inwardly along the conductor receiving slot 52 toward the elongated slot 47.

The connector 41 has been designed to establish electrical engagement with ones of the conductors 32-32 primarily by using the force-deflection characteristics of the connector beams 46-46 with a tool of the type shown in the Ellis U.S. Pat. No. 3,6ll,264 being used as a pushing device only.

Moreover, the design of the connector 41 permits the functioning of the connector to parallel the steps in a normal conductor stripping operation. First, a cut is made through the insulation, after which the insulation is axially displaced to either side of the cut. This sequence of steps takes into account the low resistance of the insulation covering to cutting or slicing as well as the high resistance to crushing and tensile strengths of intermediate values.

It should be noted that the angle 0: included between the knife edges 54-54 of the ends of the beams 46-46 as well as the angle of the bevel thereof may be varied to obtain required insulation penetration characteristics. By controlling these parameters, initial contact with the metallic portion of the conductor 32 is established prior to the conductor being moved into the conductor-receiving slot 52. In contrast, in conventional quick-clip connectors, approximately seventy per cent of the total length of the conductor-receiving slot was required to be traversed to establish initial wire contact.

The angle a is also a critical parameter in ensuring that the insulation of the conductors 31 and 32 is penetrated to establish adequate electrical contact at reduced temperatures, for example, lO F. In this type environment, the size of the radius of the innermost portion 55 of the knife edges 5454 is also of importance in ensuring penetration. It has been found that for installation in reduced temperature, the angle a should be in the range of l30l50 and the radius approximately -l0 mils. Of course, it should be realized that for key telephone unit applications of the connecting arrangement 30, which usage greatly exceeds that in an outside environment, a portion of which may be at reduced temperatures, an angle a of 120 and a 10 mil radius will suffice.

Experiments have shown that the insulative covering of the conductor 32 when using the connector 41 has been severed and displaced whereas that of the priorly used types had been split by a compressive action. Experiments have also shown that the improved design requires only one-sixth of the tool travel and oneseventh of the work to establish an initial electrical contact between the wire and the connector. After contact is established, the wire is wiped on the connector 41 for twice the distance and received twice the scouring action as before. The wiping action provides a high qbality gas tight connection interface under corrosion conditions.

A sharp drop in force that must be applied to a conductor insertion tool to make initial contact is experienced over that required in the conventional connector. In the improved design, once the tool force is increased to, for example, a value of 14 pounds, the connector 41 suddenly opens. The installers reaction time is high enough so that the conductor 32 pops-in to the fully seated position automatically. This sudden reduction in installers work reduces fatigue and is indicative of when the conductor 32 is seated. In contrast, when using conventional quick-clip connectors, a high degree of experience and judgement was required to determine when the conductor 32 was seated.

The connector 41 has also been found to retain utility after repeated usage. At room temperature, tests showed no opens after 100 consecutive connections each of 22 and 24 gauge textile insulated connectors. These exceptional insulation penetration characteristics are maintained over the temperature range of 40 F to 140 F.

The parts 42 and 43 which are made from a dielectric material such as Lexan are constructed for mating relationship with each other and for securing within the assembly thereof a plurality of the quick-clip connectors 4141. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the part 42 includes a central body portion 56 having a plurality of alternating height teeth 57 and 58 extending upwardly therefrom. The teeth 57 and 58 are formed with squared-off top faces 59 and 61, respectively, and with tapered side portions 62 and 63 respectively (see FIG. 6). The side portions 62 and 63 form a flared entrance for receiving an associated one of the conductors 32-32 with the conductor being moved subsequently to a parallel sided slot 64 formed between adjacent ones of the teeth 57 and 58.

The alternating height teeth 57 and 58 are an improvement over the teeth shown in the aforementioned patent application in the name of Ellis, Ser. No. 787,453, now US. Pat. No. 3,611,264. The use of alternating height teeth 57 and 58 are of assistance to the installer in visually identifying the tip and ring circuits in a plurality of pairs. This, of course, reduces the time and hence labor costs in using connecting devices embodying the principles of this invention to complete telephone communication circuits. The system is designed so that the lower height teeth 57-57 fall between conductors 3232 of different twisted pairs while the teeth 5858 separate the conductors of each pair.

The versatility of connecting devices embodying the principles of this invention is enhanced by constructing connecting block assemblies 3434 which are designed to accommodate one, three or five pairs of the conductors 32-32. Of course, the construction is of the same design in each, but each having a different length with, of course, additional ones of the teeth 57 and 58 to accommodate the increased number of conductors. In any of the designs, the part 42 is constructed with end teeth 64-64 being of the same height as the teeth 57-57 but having a reduced width. Each of the teeth 57 and 58 has a semi-spherical shaped boss 65 (of mating part 43) projecting therefrom; the end teeth 61-61, a quarter-spherical shaped boss 66 (of mating part 43). These bosses 65 and 66 are effective to secure another one of the connecting block assemblies 3434 which is stacked above that one mounted on the index strip.

The parts 42 and 43 are also constructed with a configuration which not only facilitates the assembly thereof but which is also functional with resepect to the use of the connecting block assembly 34. As can further be seen from FIG. 1, the part 42 is formed with an outer ledge 67 running transversely of the teeth 57 and 58 and having a concave cavity 68 extending longitudinally of the terminal block parallel to and slightly beneath the ledge. The ledge 67 provides a surface for supporting the conductors 32-32 positioned transversely of the connecting block assembly 34 during the cutting off of the conductor ends. Moreover, the ledge 67 is of assistance in the feeding of the parts 4242 in the assemby of the connecting block assemblies 3434. The concave cavity 68 permits the waist portion of the part 42 to be made as thin as possible to avoid sink marks during the molding process and is of help to the installer in providing a grasping portion during the disconnection of the connecting block assembly from the index strip 33.

The part 42 is molded to have a thin-walled side or leg 69 (see FIGS. l and 6) extending downwardly from the central body portion 56. In order to assist the installer in the mating of the connecting block assembly 34 with the associated ones of the index strips 3333, the part 42 is formed with guide fins 70-70 extending laterally from the thin walled side 69 and aligned with each of the end ones of the conductor-receiving slots 5252. In one embodiment, the part 42 is formed with one of the guide fins 7070 being aligned with each of the conductor-receiving slots 5252. A plurality of spaced buttonholes 71-71 are formed in the side 68 parallel to the lower edge thereof and with each of the button holes being aligned with associated ones of the teeth 58-58. In the alternative embodiment with the increased number of guide fins 70-70, each of the buttonholes 71-71 is formed between associated adjacent ones of the guide fins.

The lower portion of the central body portion 56 of the part 42 is formed with an edge having alternating depth depressions 72 and 73 (see FIG. 6). The depressions 72-72 are aligned with the teeth 57-57 and the depressions 73-73 are aligned with associated ones of the teeth 57-57. The depressions 72 and 73 are formed with sloping sides. In one embodiment. the sloping sides of adjacent ones of the depressions 72 and 73 connect integrally with the one of the guide fins 70-70 intermediate thereof.

Additionally, the part 42 is molded to include provisions for securing the connectors 41-41 within the connecting block assembly 34 and for isolating electrically the connectors from each otherv The part 42 is formed with a plurality of septa 74-74 and a plurality of septa 76-76 (see FIGS. 1 and 6). The septa 74 and 76 protrude transversely of the central body portion 56. Each of the septa 74-74 is aligned with an associated one of the parallel-sided slots 64-64 and with an associated one of the septa 76-76 and the guide fins 70-70 (when the part 42 is formed with the in creased number of the guide fins). The septa 74 and 76 are designed to be received within the elongated slots 47-47 of the connectors 41-41.

In order to isolate electrically the connectors 41-41 and further secure the connectors within the connecting block assembly, the part 42 is formed with a plurality of spaced parallel partitions 77-77 extending transversely from the central body portion 56. Also, a pair of lugs 78-78 are formed integrally with a middle one of the partitions 77-77 and projecting laterally therefrom for mating engagement with a pair of spaced holes 81-81 in the part 43 (see FIG. 6).

The part 43 is molded from a rigid plastic material such as Lexan and includes a central body portion 82 having longitudinally extended ledge 83 and concave groove 84 extending parallel with the ledge. The ledge 83 and the groove 84 have functions identical to the ledge 66 and the cavity 67 in the part 42.

A plurality of alternating height teeth 86 and 87 extend upwardly from the central body portion 82 and have squared-off top faces 88 and 89, respectively. The teeth 86 and 87 are formed with sloping side edges 91 and 92, respectively, to form a V-shaped entrance for receiving one of the conductors 32-32 with the conductor being moved subsequently by the operator downwardly into a parallel-sided slot 94 formed between adjacent ones of the teeth. Moreover, the part 43, of any length, is formed with end teeth 95 having the same height as the teeth 86, but having a reduced width.

The lower portion of the part 43 is formed with a thin-walled side 96 extending downwardly therefrom. Guide fins 97-97 are formed integrally with the part 43 and extend laterally of the thin-walled side 96 with each of the guide fins being aligned with one of the parallel-sided slots 94-94. One of a plurality of button holes 98-98 formed'in a row parallel to a lower edge of the side 96 is positioned between adjacent ones of the guide fins 97-97. Moreover, the lower portion of the central body portion 82 is formed with staggered depth cavities 99-99 and 101-101.

Additionally, the part 43 is provided with facilities for cooperating with the septa 102 and the septa 103 in the part 42 when the parts are mated to further secure the connectors 41-41 therein. The part 43 is formed with a plurality of septa 102-102 (see FIG. 10) and a plurality of septa 103-103, spaced along the terminal part. Each of the septa 103-103 is associated with one of the guide fins 97-97 in the alternative embodiment and is aligned with an associated one of the parallel-sided slots 94-94. Also. each of the septa 102-102 is aligned with an associated one of the septa 103-103 and the associated one of the parallel-sided slots 94-94 and spaced therebetween.

In order to mate the part 43 with the part 42, the part 43 has a plurality of spaced grooves 104 (see FlG. 6) formed therein with each of the grooves being aligned with associated ones of the button holes 98-98 and the lower height teeth 86-86. Moreover, each of the grooves 104-104 is adapted to receive one of the partitions 77-77 extending from the part 42.

It will be recalled that the central body portion 44 of the quick-clip connector 41 is formed with essentially vertical faces 45-45 (see FIG. 3). As can be seen in FIGS. 6 and 10, this construction permits the receipt of the quick-clip connectors 41-41 between adjacent ones of the partitions 77-77 with the flat faces 45-45 of the quick-clip connector engaging the partitions and with the planer faces of the connector being contiguous with the inwardly facing surfaces of the parts 42 and 43.

This mounting of the quick-clip connectors 41-41 secures the connectors within the assembled block and prevents unintended lateral or longitudinal movements thereof. Hence, assurance is given that each of the conductor receiving slots 52-52 of the connectors 41-41 is aligned and maintained in alignment with associated ones of the parallel-sided slots 64 and 94 of the mating parts 42 and 43. In this way. the possibility that any of the conductors 32-32 moved into the aligned fanning slots 64 and 94 will engage the outer pointed end of one of the knife edges 54-54 of the connector 41 associated with the fanning slots is eliminated.

Also, each of the quick-clip connectors 41-41 is associated with an individual cell 105 (see FIG. 6) formed by opposing and mating surfaces of parts 42 and 43. This is an important consideration from an operational standpoint in that this provides adequate isolation for each of the connectors to avoid high voltage breakdown with accompanying discontinuance of operating subscriber service. It should be observed that the partitions 77 extend essentially from the bottom of the connecting block assembly 34 to the top portion of the teeth 57 and 58 and the corresponding aligned teeth 86 and 87. This configuration produces a more extensive barrier to a potential electrical leakage path. For additional protection, a waterproofing or sealing compount may be injected into each of the cells to enclose the connectors 41-41.

In order to prevent disassembly of the connector block assembly 34 provisions are made for bonding together parts 42 and 43. This may be accomplished by any one of a number of commercially available bonding processes. For example, ultrasonic bonding equipment may be used to bond together ultrasonically the parts 42 and 43. In order to bond ultrasonically the parts 42 and 43, energy directors (not shown) may be provided say on the partitions 77-77 to facilitate the bonding.

In this regard, see D. J. Kolb, Designing Plastic Parts for Ultrasonic Assembly printed in March 16, 1967 issue of Machine Design.

As can best be seen in FIG. 6, the positioning of the quick-clip connectors 41-41 with respect to the vertical axis of the connecting block assembly 34 is important with respect to the use of the connecting block assembly in the connecting arrangement 30. It is to be observed that the upper end portions of the quick-clip connector 41-41 are somewhat below the top-most faces 59 and 61 of the teeth 57 and 58, respectively. On the other hand, the quickclip connector 41 is connected to the parts 42 and 43 so that the donwardly depending portions of the beams 46-46 extend below the thin-walled side portions 69 and 96, respectively. In order to appreciate the significance of the structure of the index strip 33, reference is made to FIG. 1 which shows an exploded view of a connector block assembly 34 aligned to be mated with an index strip. A plurality of conductors 31-31 have been priorly fanned transversely of and moved into engagement with the index strip 33 with ones of the conductors 32-32 moved subsequently, for example, into the conductorreceiving slots 64 and 94 of the connector block assembly 34. The movement of the conductors 32-32 into associated ones of the slots 64 and 94 moves the conductor first into engagement with the entrance portion of the associated quick-clip connector 41 to sever through the insulative covering. Upon further downward movement by the installer to the bottom of the elongated slot 64, the conductor 32 is moved along and engagement with the contacting faces of the beams 46-46 of the quick-clip connector 41. This causes electrically conducting engagement to be made be tween the conductors 32-32 and associated ones of the quick-clip connectors 41-41.

The index strip 33 is formed with a bed plate or floor 106 (see FIGS. 1, 6 and 7) having two rows of parallel extending opposing alternating height teeth 107 and 108 extending therefrom. Opposing ones of the teeth 107 and 108 are connected by separators 109 and 111 respectively. Top faces 112 and 113 of the alternating height teeth 107 and 108, respectively, are squared off and have tapered side portions 114 and 116 respectively, to form flared entrances 117-117 for guiding associated ones of the conductors 31-31 into conductor receiving grooves or fanning slots 118-118 formed between adjacent ones of the teeth.

When the associated ones of the conductors 31-31 have been moved by the installer into the grooves 118-118, the free ends of each conductor is engaged with the bed plate 106 of the index strip 33 (see FIG. 1). However, as can be seen in FIG. 2, the conductors 31-31 may be run for a distance along the side of the index strip 33 before being positioned in an associated one of the grooves 118-118. During experimentation, some difficulties have been experienced in having adequate space along the bed plate 106 on the conductor side for both longitudinal ones as well as transverse fanning of the conductors. To overcome this problem, the bed plate 106 in a preferred embodiment on the conductor side is formed with a stepped-down portion 119 (see FIG. 9).

The index strip 33 is also provided with facilities for locking the connector block assembly 34 to the index strip. A button 121 is formed integrally with each of the teeth 107 and 108 and protrudes laterally therefrom (see FIG. 2) to be received in an associated one of the button holes 71-71 in the parts 42 and 43.

In order to connect ones of the index strip 33-33 to the back panel 36, the index strips are provided with pegs 122-122 spaced along and extending downwardly from the underside thereof. The pegs 122-122 are inserted through openings in the back panel 36 with lower portions thereof deformed (see FIG. 11) to secure the index strips to the back panel.

The index strip 33 is shaped to insure that ones of the conductors 31-31, of any of the various gauge sizes that are expected to be used, are retained within associated ones of the conductor-receiving grooves 118-118 prior to mounting of the connecting block assemblies 34-34 on the index strip. As can best be seen in FIG. 8, the side faces of the alternating height teeth 107 and 108 which form the conductor-receiving grooves 1 18-118 are tapered to form grooves tapered in a direction transverse of the index strip 33 and having the widest dimension toward the outside of the index strip. In this way, with the smallest gauge conductor 31 that might be used in this interconnection system, the walls of the associated groove 1 18 digs slightly into the insulation to grasp firmly the conductor.

In one construction which embodies the principles of this invention, the quick-clip connectors 41-41 have a thickness of 0.032 inch, a length of 0.84 inch and a width of 0.105 inch across the faces 45-45 tapering to 0.063 at the free ends thereof. The connecting block assemblies 34-34 are made to accommodate one, three or five pairs of the conductors 32-32. In the five pair connecting block assembly 34, the overall length is approximately 1.5 inches, the height is approximately 0.75 inch and the width across the lower portion thereof is approximately 0.25 inch. Also, the width of the gap formed between opposing faces of the beams 46-46 of the connector 41 is approximately 0.002 to 0.004 at the outer portion thereof, tapering somewhat toward the innermost portions thereof.

Although the invention has been described principally in connection with insulator conductors, it applies equally to connections between bare wires.

There are still other configurations of the quick-clip pin connector 41 which fall within the scope of this invention. In the fabrication of the connector 41 shown in FIG. 3, the elongated slots 47-47 are formed to permit shear-forming of the conductor-receiving slots 52-52. Without the slots 47-47, the shear-forming tends to deform the beams 46-46 out of the plane of the connector. The width of the connector 41 is greater than required for the beams 46-46 to accommodate the slots 47-47 which are non-functional after the connector is fabricated. This, of course, involves additional material and increases the overall dimensions of the connecting block assembly 34.

As can be seen in FIG. 12, a modified connector is formed with a central body portion 131 having two pairs of beams 132-132 extending oppositely therefrom.

The end portions 133-133 of the beams 132-132 are tapered to form a V-shaped entrance for a conductor-receiving slot 134 formed between opposing faces of the beams by deforming opposite sides of the connector 41. The tapered end portions 133-133 are formed with double-bevel knife edges 136-136 for slicing through the insulation of the conductors 31 and Of course, the parts 42 and 43 must be modified to accept and secure the connector 130 against unintended lateral and longitudinal movement. This may be accomplished by having the entire side faces of the beams 132-132 in engagement with the partitions 77-77, and mating projecting and depressions for receiving the offset central body portion 131.

Also, the index strip 33 may be modified to include thin-walled guides 141-141. The guides 141-141 span the longitudinal opening between the rows of teeth 107 and 108, each being aligned with one of the fanning slots of the index strip. As can best be seen in FIG. 10, the tops of the guides furnish some support for the conductors 31-31 positioned in the fanning slot with the tops of the guides being approximately in the same plane as the bottoms of the fanning slots.

OPERATION As can be seen in FIG. 2, a group of conductors 31-31 associated with specific telephone lines are selected from a cable and led through openings in the back panel 36. The back panel 36 is pre-equipped with ones of the index strips 33-33 having the pegs 122-122 thereof inserted through openings in the back panel and staked thereto. Then the conductors 31-31 are dressed across a group of the index strips 33-33 which provide for storing the conductors in a pre-arranged sequence for identification purposes. When circuit connections are required, one of the connecting block assemblies 34-34 equipped with the proper number of conductors, e.g., two, six or 10, is inserted into the index strip 33. Connections to the con ductors 31-31 are made simultaneously by the operator fanning out and moving the conductors into the conductor-receiving slots 118-118. The crossconnecting conductors 32-32 are subsequently inserted into the top of the connecting block assembly 34.

The installer, desirous of providing service for a customer or customers, selects one of the connecting block assemblies 34-34 and moves the connecting block assembly into alignment with the index strips 33-33 (see FIGS. 1 and 7). Then the installer moves the connecting block assembly 34 downwardly with the guide fins 70 and 97 moving between the alternating height teeth 107 and 108 so that the alternating height teeth of the index strip 36 are aligned with the alternat ing height teeth of the connecting block assembly. In the alternative embodiment with only end guide fins 70 and 97 formed on the parts 42 and 43, the end guide fins are aligned with the end ones of the conductorreceiving grooves 118-118 of the length of the index strip 33 to be used for the mounting. The buttons 121-121, made from a resilient material, ride over the inwardly facing surface of the side walls 69 and 96 and snap into the holes 98-98 to lock the connecting block assembly 34 to the index strip 33.

The alternating depth depressions 72 and 73 in the part 42 and the alternating depth depressions 99 and 101 are useful in the proper seating of the connecting block assembly 34 on the index strip 33. As can be seen in FIG. 10, the alternating depth depressions 72, 73, 99 and 101 have a configuration which is designed to mate with the spaced rows of spaced alternating height teeth 107 and 108 of the index strip 33. The proper seating of the teeth 107 and 108 of the index strip 33 in the depressions of the connecting block assembly 34 cincides with the snapping of tle buttons 121-121 into the button holes 71 and 98 in the legs 69 and 96. When the connecting block assembly 34 is seated properly on the index strip 33, the lowermost edges of the parts 42 and 43 are spaced above the supporting surface on bed plate 106 and ledge 119 of the index strip.

The downward movement of the connecting block assembly 34 causes the downwardly depending portions of the beams 46-46 of the quick-clip connector 41 to be moved into engagement with associated ones of the conductors 31-31 prepositioned in the index strip 33. Continued downward movement causes the slicing edges 54-54 to cut through the insulation of the conductors 31-31 and eventually move the conductors into the conductor-receiving slots 52-52 formed between the contacting faces of the beams 46-46 (see FIG. 10).

Ones of the connecting block assemblies 34-34 are installed only as customer service is required. Hence, investment is necessary only with respect to equipment which will provide a return on that investment. Moreover, when service is discontinued, it is not necessary to remove the connecting block assembly, but rather only the expendable cross-connecting conductors 32-32 terminated on the top of the connecting block assembly.

Next, the operator selects certain ones of a plurality of pairs of conductors 32-32, which may be spaced apart priorly by techniques disclosed in a US. Pat. No. 3.459878 issued in the name of T. J. Gressitt et al., on Aug. 5, 1969. The conductors 32-32 are moved into the flared entrance portions formed between alternating height teeth 57 and 58 and the mating teeth 86 and 87 and thence into the fanning slots 64 and 94 between the teeth. During such movement, the conductors 32-32 engage the knife edges 54-54 of the tapered entrance portions of the connectors 41-41 and are then moved into the conductor-receiving grooves 52-52 to establish electrical engagement with the contacting faces 48 and 49 thereof. An electrical connection is thereby established between the conductors 32-32 and the conductors 31-31 inserted between the beams 46-46 of the depending portions of the quick-clip connectors 41-41 (see FIG. 10).

In practice, the connecting block assemblies 34-34 are supplied in either of two colors, say blue and white. An installer, mounting ones of the connecting block assemblies 41-41 along an index strip, alternates between the two colors when selecting the assemblies. In this way, rapid location of a conductor pair for future manipulation is possible by this provision of visual assistance in counting conductor pairs from one end of the index strip 33.

It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are simply illustrative of the principles of the invention. Other arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art which will embody the principles of the invention and fall within the spirit and scope thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. A device for making an electrical connection, which comprises:

an index strip, which includes a dielectric part having a floor and two narrowly separated parallel rows of spaced corresponding alternating height teeth extending from the floor, the spaces between the corresponding teeth pairs defining fanning slots for receiving insulated conductors, the dielectric part also having a separator linking each corresponding pair of teeth of the rows and extending below the floor to define wells between adjacent ones of the separators; and

the walls of the teeth defining each of the slots in the index strip being tapered inwardly toward the associated one of the wells to embed the opposing innermost edge portions of the walls of the teeth defining each slot into the insulation of the smallest insulated conductor expected to be received in the slot; and

a connecting block assembly adapted to be mounted on the index strip, which includes: mating dielectric parts, each of the parts having a row of spaced alternating height teeth extending from a top of a body portion of each of the parts with a partition formed on a lateral surface of one of the parts and designed to be received in grooves formed in an opposing lateral surface of the other part when the parts are mated, the spaces between the corresponding teeth pairs defining fanning slots for receiving conductors, each of the parts also having a leg extending from the body portion thereof in a direction opposite the teeth, the legs and body portion of the mating parts when assembled defining a cavity for receiving at least portions of the index strip to facilitate mounting of the connecting block assembly on the index strip;

the mating dielectric parts having facilities formed thereon such that when the dielectric parts are mated together to form a connecting block assembly, connector-receiving facilities are provided between the partitions thereof;

an electrically conductive connector designed to be received between partitions of the one part prior to assembly with the other mating part, each of the connectors having first and second insulation-penetrating ends, the first end adapted to become engaged electrically and to maintain electrical engagement with associated ones of the conductors positioned in the connecting block assembly and the second ends depending from the connecting block assembly;

the connector assembled with the mating dielectric parts being secured within the connecting block assembly against unintended lateral and longitudinal movement;

each of the mating dielectric parts of the connectthe mounting of the connecting block assembly on the index strip being such that the depending portions of the connectors are caused to become engaged electrically with the conductors supported in the dielectric part of the index strip. 2. A device for making electrical connections between electrical conductors, which includes:

an index strip made of a dielectric material, including: a surface for supporting ones of the conductors, two spaced rows of spaced alternating height teeth further, the surfaces of the teeth defining the fanning slots being tapered inwardly of the index strip with the innermost width thereof dimensioned to secure the smallest gauge conductor expected to be received in the conductor fanning slot; and

a separator connecting corresponding teeth in the rows and extending below the supporting surface to define wells between adjacent ones of the separators;

each of the teeth having a boss extending laterally therefrom; and

a connecting block assembly adapted to be mounted on the index strip, which includes:

a first part having spaced rows of spaced alternating height teeth extending from the first part in opposite directions, one row of the teeth having a conductor fanning slot formed between each adjacent pair of teeth, the first part further having a plurality of alternating height ribs formed integrally with the first part and extending laterally of the teeth, the shallower ribs being aligned with the fanning slots and the higher ribs being aligned with the teeth;

a second part adapted to be mated with the first part and having spaced rows of spaced alternating height teeth extending from the first part in opposite directions, one row of the teeth having a conductor fanning slot formed between adjacent pair of teeth, the teeth in the one row aligned with corresponding ones of the teeth in the one row of the first part when the parts are mated to form a fanning slot between adjacent paired ones of the teeth for receiving ones of the conductors, the second part having alternate slots and ribs spaced therealong, the ribs projecting therefrom laterally of the teeth, and aligned with the shallower ribs in the first part, the slots receiving the higher ribs of the first part when the parts are mated and to space apart the teeth of the first part from the corresponding teeth of the second part,

the alternating height teeth in the other rows of the first and second parts adapted to mate with the alternating height teeth of the index strip to align the connecting block assembly with the index strip and to seat properly the connecting block assembly on the index strip;

the connecting block assembly having a cavity complementary to at least portions of the mounting strip to facilitate mounting of the connecting block assembly on the mounting strip, further each of the parts having a plurality of holes formed therein which face into the cavity for receiving associated ones of the bosses to lock the connecting block assembly to the mounting block,

the first part also having means formed thereon for concentrating bonding energy and facilitating the bonding together ultrasonically of the first and second parts;

an elongated connector made from a flat strip of electrically conductive material being symmetrical with respect to longitudinal and transverse axes through the center thereof and having first and second insulation-piercing V-shaped ends, each of the V-shaped ends formed by two opposed beams cantilevered from a central body portion of the connector, with end portions of each of the beams being tapered in the plane of the connector and having a double bevel in the plane of the thickness of the connector, each of the first ends aligned with and extending between at least a portion of the aligned associated fanning slots, the second end extending below the connecting block assembly for insertion into the wells of the mounting block, the metallic connector having openings formed therein for receiving the shallower ribs of the first part and the ribs of the second part when the first and sec ond parts are caused to be mated to lock the connector within the mated first and second parts, further the central body portion being in abutting engagement with adjacent ones of the higher ribs of the first part to further prevent unintended lateral movement of the connector;

the second ends of the connectors being moved into the wells of the mounting block when the connector block assembly is connected to the mounting block to make electrical contact with the conductors held in the fanning slots thereof; and

the first ends of the connectors establishing electrical contact with associated ones of the conductors moved into the fanning slots of the connecting block assembly.

3. A device for making an electrical connection,

which comprises:

an index strip made from a dielectric material which includes:

a longitudinally extending body portion having a surface for supporting ones of a plurality of first conductors;

the supporting surface having a longitudinally extending slot formed therein;

spaced longitudinally extending rows of teeth projecting from and spaced along the supporting surface on opposite sides of the slot;

the spaces between the teeth defining conductorfanning slots for receiving ones of the first conductors; and

separators connecting aligned corresponding teeth of the rows of teeth to define wells between adjacent ones of the separators; and

a connecting block assembly adapted to be mounted on the index strip, which includes:

a first dielectric part, including:

a central body portion, a top most portion thereof being formed with a plurality of slots;

the central body portion having a leg portion depending therefrom;

guide fins formed with the central body portion and the leg portion and extending laterally therefrom;

a plurality of partitions formed integrally with and extending laterally from the central body portion, each of the partitions extending from a topmost portion of the central body portion between adjacent ones of the slots to a lowermost portion of the central body portion; and

septa formed on the central body portion intermediate each of the partitions, each of the septa extending laterally from the central body portion a distance substantially less than the partitions;

the central body portion having serrations formed along an edge thereof opposite the portion along which the slots are formed each of the peaks of the serrations being aligned with one, of the slots in the central body portion of the first part, the serrations having a configuration identical to the teeth in one row of the index strip;

a second dielectric part adapted to be mated with the first part, which includes:

a central body portion having a plurality of slots opening to a top most portion thereof;

the slots in the central body portion of the second part being aligned with the slots in the central body portion of the first part when the first and second parts are caused to be mated to receive ones of a plurality of second conductors;

the central body portion also having a plurality of grooves formed therein extending from a top most portion thereof to a lower most portion, the grooves adapted to receive the partitions of the first part when the first and second parts are caused to be mated together;

a plurality of septa alternating with the grooves across the central body portion, the septa in the second dielectric part being of substantially the same height as the septa in the first dielectric part;

the septa of the second part being aligned with and projecting toward the septa of the first part when the parts are caused to be mated together;

the partitions and the central body portions of the first and second parts forming electrically isolated cells;

the central body portion of the second part having serrations formed along an edge opposite the portion along which the slots are cut, each of the peaks of the serrations being aligned with one of the slots in the central body portion of the second part, the serrations having a configuration identical to the teeth in the other row on the index strip;

a plurality of connectors made from a flat strip of electrically conductive material and having first and second insulation-penetrating ends;

the connectors having openings formed therein for receiving the aligned septa of the parts when the first and second parts are caused to be mated together to prevent unintended lateral and longitudinal movement of the connectors;

the first ends of the connectors extending between the aligned slots of the first and second parts and the second ends extending below the leg portions of the parts when the parts are caused to be mated together;

the first and second parts when mated together forming a cavity complementary to portions of the index strip to facilitate the mounting of the connecting block assembly with the index strip at selected cations therealong;

the serrations of the mated first and second parts mating with the teeth in the rows of the index strip to seat properly the connecting block assembly on the index strip; and

the connectors being received in the slot formed on the index strip in associated ones of the wells when the connecting block assembly is mounted to the index strip with the second ends of the connectors engaging electrically the first conductors to connect electrically the first and second conductors,

4. The device of claim 3, wherein the first and second parts have longitudinally extending concave cavities formed on the external surfaces of the central body portions thereof to facilitate the gripping manually of the connector block assembly to disassemble the connector block assembly from the index strip.

5. The device of claim 3, wherein the index strip is formed with a longitudinally extending ledge adjacent a lateral surface of one row of the teeth, the ledge being below the conductor-supporting surface, so that ones of the first conductors received in the fanning slots extend linearly into engagement with the supporting surfaces and are turned downwardly to be run longitudinally along the ledge.

6. The device of claim 3, wherein the index strip includes a plurality of spaced pegs extending oppositely of the teeth and connected to the body portion thereof, the pegs adapted to be received in openings ofa mounting block for staking thereto.

7. The device of claim 3, wherein the first dielectric part also includes means formed thereon for concentrating bonding energy and for facilitating the bonding together ultrasonically of the first and the second dielectric parts of the connecting block assembly.

8. The device of claim 3, wherein the first part of the connecting block assembly includes at least one stud extending laterally from one of the partitions and the second part includes a hole designed to receive the stud and positioned to align the parts to permit the proper mating of the parts.

9. The device of claim 3, wherein the top-most portion of the first and second parts are formed with alternating height teeth, the teeth having tapered portions so that adjacent ones of the teeth form flared entrance portions for the fanning slots between the teeth.

10. The device of claim 9, wherein a laterally projecting boss is formed on an external surface of each of the teeth.

11. The device of claim 10, wherein the boss is in the form of a semi-sperical segment.

12. The device of claim 3, wherein the leg portions of the first and second parts are formed with a row of openings, the openings in the first part being aligned with the openings in the second part, the paired openings being positioned between the depending second end portions of the connectors.

13. The device of claim 12, wherein the index strip includes a button formed on the outer surfaces of each of the teeth, the button adapted to be received in an associated one of the openings in the legs of the connector block assembly when the connector block assembly is mounted on the index strip to secure the connector block assembly on the index strip, the legs of the parts being sufficiently flexible to permit the connector block assembly to be urged upwardly and disconnected from the index strip.

M. The device of claim 3, wherein each one of the connectors includes:

a body portion being formed with parallel sides; and

two pair of beams oppositely extending from the body portion, the outer edge portions of the beams being sloped to taper the ends thereof;

the edge portions of the parallel sides engaging with adjacent ones of the partitions to maintain the connectors from being canted with respect to the fanning slots of the connector block assembly to further prevent unintended lateral movement of the connectors.

15. The device of claim 14, wherein the end portions of each of the beams is formed with a ledge, the ledge being effective to impede the movement of insulation which has been stripped from the conductors when relative movement has been caused between the connector and the associated one of the conductors to make electrical engagement therewith.

16. The device of claim 3, wherein each insulation penetrating end of each of the connectors includes a pair of beams having at least portions thereof closely spaced to form a conductor-receiving slot therebetween and having ends tapered to form a V-shaped entrance for receiving associated ones of the conductors, each of the tapered ends having a double-beveled cutting edge.

17. The device of claim 16, wherein the included angle between the tapered ends is in the range of l30-150.

18. The device of claim 16, wherein the innermost portions of the double-beveled cutting edges are formed with a radius.

19. The device of claim 16, wherein the conductorreceiving slot has a gap between adjacent ones of the beams, the width of the gap being less than the outside diameter of the insulated conductor and less than the diameter of the conductive portion of the insulated conductor.

20. The device of claim 19, wherein the radius is in the range of 0-10 mils.

21. The device of claim 3, wherein the teeth of each row on the index strip are of alternating height with top portions of the teeth being flat and having inclined portions joining the flat face of each tooth to the parallel sides thereof, the opposing parallel sides of adjacent teeth defining one of the conductor-fanning slots.

22. The device of claim 21, wherein the sides of the teeth are formed to define a slot having a width adjacent external faces of the teeth which is greater than the width of the slot adjacent the associated well.

23. The device of claim 21, wherein the topmost portion of the first and second parts are formed with alternating height teeth and wherein the serrations formed in the central body portions thereof are of alternating depths with each of the shallower depth serrations being aligned with one of the shallower depth teeth, the connecting block assembly being mounted properly on the index strip when the shallower depth teeth of the index strip are mated with the shallower depth serrations of the first and second parts of the connecting block assembly.

24. A device for interconnecting a plurality of groups of conductors, which includes:

an index strip made from a dielectric material, comprising: a body portion having a flat top floor; two parellel rows of corresponding alternating height teeth, the teeth in each row being spaced apart to form fanning slots therebetween for receiving ones of a first group of conductors; a separator connecting each tooth in one row with the corresponding tooth in the other row; each separator extending from a level below the top floor to the tops of the associated ones of the teeth; the adjacent ones of the separators and the associated teeth forming a well; and the walls of the teeth forming the fanning slots being tapered inwardly toward the associated well to form an inwardly tapered slot to secure ones of the first conductors; a connecting block assembly designed to be mounted on the index strip, which includes: mating body parts made from a dielectric material having a flat top floor; two rows of corresponding alternating height teeth extending vertically from the floor, the lateral spacing of the teeth being equal to the lateral spacing of the corresponding teeth in the two rows in the index strip to form fanning slots therebetween, the fanning slots of the mating parts being aligned with the fanning slots of the index strip when the connecting block assembly is mounted on the index strip; each of the mating body parts having a row of alternating depth depressions formed thereon along an edge opposite the edge along which the teeth are formed, the depressions of greater depth being aligned with the teeth of greater height on the body part; one of the mating parts being formed with a plurality of spaced partitions extending from associated ones of the teeth to the lower portion of the mating body parts; the other one of the mating parts having a plurality of grooves formed therein and aligned with the partitions so that when the parts are mated, the partitions are received in the grooves; each of the mating parts having a plurality of spaced septa, the septa in the one part alternating with the partitions, the septa in the other part alternating with the grooves; the septa in the parts aligned with and projecting toward one another;

a leg portion formed with each of the mating body parts, the legs spaced apart a distance so that when the parts are mated the teeth of the index strip may be received between the legs;

the mating parts including guide members, in-

wardly directed from the leg portions, the guide members engaging the fanning slots of the index strip when the connecting block assembly is mounted on the index strip; and

connectors made from a flat strip of electrically conductive material and having first and second double beveled tapered insulation-piercing ends. further, each connector having spaced openings formed therein and between the first and second ends;

the connectors adapted to be mounted in the one of the mating parts between adjacent ones of the partitions prior to mating of the parts with the septa in the one part extending into the openings;

the septa of the other part also extending into the openings of the connectors when the parts are mated to prevent unintended lateral and longitudinal movement;

the first ends of the connectors being disposed below the tops of the teeth of the connecting block assembly when the parts are mated and the second ends protruding below the legs of the connecting block assembly;

the protruding second ends adapted to be received in the wells of the index strip when the connecting block assembly is mated with the index strip so that the second ends pierce the insulation of conductors received in the fanning slots of the index strip and make electrical contact therewith;

the first ends adapted to establish electrical contact with ones ofa second group of conductors which are moved into the fanning slots of the connecting block assembly thereupon connecting electrically ones of the first group of conductors with ones of the second group of conductors; and

the teeth of the index strip being received in the alternating depth depressions of the mating body parts to align the connecting block assembly with the index strip and to seat properly the connecting block assembly on the index strip.

25. A system for interconnecting electrically first conductors with associated second conductors, which comprises:

a connecting block assembly for supporting the first conductors, which includes: a first part made from a dielectric material, including:

a central body portion having alternating depth depressions formed along a lower edge portion thereof;

alternating height teeth extending from an upper edge thereof with conductor-receiving slots formed between adjacent ones of the teeth, the higher teeth being aligned with the greater depth depressions;

a partition projecting from an inwardly facing surface of the first part and associated with each of the teeth, each partition extending from an upper portion of each of the teeth to a lower edge of the first part;

a downwardly depending portion formed integrally with the central body portion;

inwardly directed guide members formed integrally with the downwardly depending portion and extending laterally thereof; and

a septum formed integrally with and extending laterally from the central body portion between adjacent ones of the teeth;

a second part made from a dielectric material and adapted to be mated with the first part, which includes:

a central body portion having alternating depth depressions formed along a lower edge thereof; alternating height teeth extending from an upper edge thereof with conductor-receiving slots formed between adjacent ones of the teeth, the

teeth of the second part adapted to be aligned with the teeth of the first part and the conductorreceiving slots of the first part aligned with the teeth of the second part when the first and second parts are mated together, further, the aligned conductor-receiving slots being designed to receive associated ones of the first conductors, the higher teeth being aligned with the greater depth depressions;

the central body portion having grooves formed therein for receiving associated ones of the partitions when the first and second parts are caused to be mated together, the adjacent ones of the partitions and the central body portions of the parts forming a chamber;

a downwardly depending portion formed integrally with the central body portion;

inwardly directed guide members formed integrally of the downwardly depending portion and adapted to be aligned with the inwardly directed guide members of the first part when the first and second parts are caused to be mated together;

a septa formed integrally with and extending laterally from the central body portion of the second part between each adjacent pair of grooves, the septa of the first and second parts adapted to be aligned with each other when the first and second parts are caused to be mated to each other;

connectors made from a fiat strip of electrically conductive material, the connectors each having first and second insulation-piercing ends, the connectors having openings formed therein for receiving the aligned septa when the first and second parts are caused to be mated together, the first end of each connector extending beyond the top of the body portion of the first and second parts and the second ends of the connectors extending below the downwardly depending portions of the first and second parts when the first and second parts are caused to be mated together; and

an index strip made from an insulative material, in-

cluding:

a base block including a ledge;

two spaced parallel rows of spaced alternating height teeth extending upwardly from the ledge, the spaces between the corresponding teeth paris defining fanning slots for receiving and holding associated ones of the second conductors;

separators linking each corresponding pair of teeth of the rows and extending below the ledge to define wells between adjacent ones of the separators;

the walls of the teeth defining the fanning slots being tapered inwardly to form inwardly tapered fanning slots having the width thereof adjacent the wells less than the external width thereof for securing the second conductors;

the downwardly extending portions of the connectors being moved into associated ones of the wells when the connector block assembly is caused to be mated with the index strip to cause the second ends to pierce the insulation of the associated ones of the second conductors held in the fanning slots of the index strip;

an electrical connection being made between ones of the second conductors and associated ones of the first conductors which are moved into associated ones of the conductor-receiving slots of the connecting block assembly and into electrical engagement with the insulation-piercing ends of associated ones of the connectors; and

the teeth of the index strip being received in the alternating depth depressions of the mating body parts to align the connecting block assembly with the index strip and to seat properly the connecting block assembly on the index strip.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/403, 439/404
International ClassificationH01R12/08, H02G15/08, H01R9/22, H01R12/38, H01R4/24, H01R12/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R4/2429
European ClassificationH01R4/24B3C1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 19, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: AT & T TECHNOLOGIES, INC.,
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY, INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:004251/0868
Effective date: 19831229