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Publication numberUS3807010 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateMar 22, 1973
Priority dateMar 22, 1973
Publication numberUS 3807010 A, US 3807010A, US-A-3807010, US3807010 A, US3807010A
InventorsL Semrad
Original AssigneeCollins Radio Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Contact cleaning, gauging and adjusting means for printed circuit board connectors
US 3807010 A
Abstract
Apparatus for cleaning, gauging, and adjusting electrical connector contacts including a gauging member and an adjusting member. The gauging member includes a plate which may be preferably shaped like a printed circuit board and which includes a connector portion on one end and a clump in association therewith for maintaining cleaning material or impressionable material wrapped around the connector portion. Impressions made on the impressionable material by connector contacts indicate contact gap dimensions. The adjusting member includes a two-pronged portion for engaging a contact and establishing requisite contact gap dimensions. Preferably, the depth of the two prongs and angle of prong inclination is correlated with contact dimensions whereby a contact is fully inserted into the prongs to establish the desired gap setting.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Semrad [451 Apr. 30, 1974 CONTACT CLEANING, GAUGING AND ADJUSTING MEANS FOR PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD CONNECTORS Lawrence J. Semrad, Richardson, Tex.

Assignee: Collins Radio Company, Dallas,

Tex.

Filed: Mar. 22, 1973 Appl. No. 343,767

Inventor:

US. Cl. 29/203 H, 29/206 Int. Cl H0lr 43/00 Field of Search 29/203 B, 203 D, 203 H,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1968 Howie 29/203 B 8/1969 Anhalt 29/203 H Primary Examiner-Thomas H. Eager ABSTRACT Apparatus for cleaning, gauging, and adjusting electrical connector contacts including a gauging member and an adjusting member. The gauging member includes a plate which may be preferably shaped like a printed circuit board and which includes a connector portion on one end and a clump in association therewith for maintaining cleaning material or impressionable material wrapped around the connector portion. Impressions made on the impressionable material by connector contacts indicate contact gap dimensions. The adjusting member includes a two-pronged portion for engaging a contact and establishing requisite contact gap dimensions. Preferably, the depth of the two prongs and angle of prong inclination is correlated with contact dimensions whereby a contact is fully inserted into the prongs to establish the desired gap setting.

9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures SHEET 1 OF 2 "MENTEU APR 3 0 I974 FIG. 5

@"MENTED APR 3 0 I974 SHEET 2 OF 2 CONTACT CLEANING, GAUGING AND ADJUSTING MEANS FOR PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD CONNECTORS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to electrical connectors and contacts, and more particularly to apparatus for cleaning, gauging, and adjusting electrical connector contacts.

In modern electrical systems, circuits are typically defined on printed circuit boards which are interconnected into the system by means of connectors into which the boards are inserted. Such an interconnect system permits easy removal of circuit boards for test purposes and replacement of defective circuits.

Problems arise with such interconnect systems due to tolerance of connector fit or contact gap setting and due to contamination. For example, in wiring a connector into the electrical system often causes permanent deformation and consequent contact gap widening. Further, electrical systems operating in smog or salt air environments develop contact film which impairs good electrical contact and which necessitates periodic cleaning.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is apparatus for effectively cleaning, gauging, and adjusting electrical connector contacts.

Another object of the invention is means for efficiently checking contact gap setting.

Still another object of the invention is means for efficiently establishing proper contact gap setting for desired contact pressure.

In accordance with the invention, a contact gauging apparatus is provided with contact sensitive impressionable paper or the like. Upon inserting the contact gauging apparatus into a connector, the contact of the connector marks the contact sensitive paper with the impression formed on the paper being indicative of contact pressure. By comparing the impressions with a known table, the contact gap setting may be established.

A two-pronged instrument with substantially parallel outer prong surfaces and inclined inner surfaces is used to re-establish desired gap setting and contact pressure, as required. Preferably the depth of the two-prongs and angle of prong inclination is correlated with contact dimensions whereby the contact is fully inserted into the prong to re-establish the desired gap setting.

These and other objects and features of the invention will be more fully understood from the following detailed description and appended claims when taken with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of a conventional printed circuit board (PCB) and edge connector;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the edge connector of FIG. 1 illustrating the plurality of contacts therein;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of one contact of the connector of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG; 4 is a plan view of the contact gauging apparatus in accordance with the present invention and an edge connector after inserting and removing said gauge apparatus;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of a portion of the contact cleaning and gauging apparatus of FIG. 4; 0

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of gap setting apparatus in accordance with the present invention and a portion of the edge connector of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a portion of the gap setting apparatus and the edge connector of FIG. 6 in section; and

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the gap setting apparatus and edge connector of FIG. 7 with said gap setting apparatus engaging said contact.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a plan view of a conventional printed circuit board (PCB) 10 and edge connector 12. Typically, board 10 has a plurality of electrical components mounted thereon and interconnected by printed circuits (not shown). At one end of board 10 is a contact portion 14 including a plurality of printed contacts 16 which are integral with the printed circuit on board 10 and which mate with contacts of female connector 12. Each of the contacts of female connector 12 is provided with projecting portion 18 which may be hard-wired into the electrical system of which PCB 10 comprises a part. At the other end of board 10 is a handle 20 which is used in inserting or removing contact portion 14 of board 10 into or out of connector 12.

FIG. 2 is a front view of edge connector 12 of FIG. 1 and illustrates the plurality of contacts 22 therein. As will be appreciated, each contact 22 of connector 12 mates with a printed contact 16 of printed circuit board 10, as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of one contact 22 of connector 12 and includes the elongated portion 18 for hardwiring the connector into the electrical system and the female receptacle portion 24 which comprises two parallel spaced arms. Asdiscussed above, to insure proper electrical contact between the connector 12 and a printed circuit board inserted therein, a proper gap setting must be maintained between the arms 24 of the contact 22. However, due to the periodic cleaning of the contacts and the deformation due to contact wiring, as noted above, gap settings of the contacts may exceed requirements, thereby providing an unsatisfactory electrical contact to a printed circuit board.

Referring to FIG. 4, in accordance with the present invention contact gauging apparatus 28 is provided which may preferably be in the form of an aluminum or steel plate 30 shaped like a circuit board designed for use with the particular connector 12. The apparatus includes a handle 32 at one end and a connector portion 34 at the other end. Provided around the connector portion 34 is impressionable paper 36 which is maintained on plate 30 by means of clamp 38. In one comparing the impressions with a known impression table, the actual gap settings may be established. Conveniently, the table may be provided on plate 30 in area 40.

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of a portion of apparatus 28 of FIG. 4 and further illustrating the attachment of clamp 38 on plate 30 by means of screw 44, spring 46, and nut 48. Spring 46 allows clamp 38 to pivot on plate 30 thereby allowing the impressionable paper to be wrapped around connector portion 34 with the paper ends provided between clamp 38 and plate 30. Slot 50 facilitates reception of the paper edge from beneath plate 30.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of gap setting apparatus in accordance with the present invention and a portion of the edge connector 12. Apparatus 60 includes a handle portion 62, a shaft portion of 64, and a two-pronged contact engaging portion 66, which is insertable into the housing portion of connector 12 to engage the contact of the connector 12.

FIGS. 7 and 8 further illustrate the function of the twopronged portion of apparatus 60 in adjusting the gap of female connector 24. It will be noted that the outer surfaces of the prongs 66 are substantially parallel for ease in insertion into the housing of connector 12. The inner surfaces of prongs 66 are inclined for engaging the arms 24 of contact 22 and flexing arms 24 to effect proper contact gap. In FIG. 8, prongs 66 are inserted into connector 12 with the inner inclined surfaces engaging and flexing arms 24 of contact 22. Preferably, as noted in FIG. 8, the depth of the two prongs and the angle of prong inclination is correlated with the contact dimensions whereby the contact is fully inserted into the prongs to re-establish the desired contact gap.

Contact cleaning, a gauging, and adjusting apparatus in accordance with the present invention has proved very successful in efficiently and effectively gauging and adjusting contact pressure. While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, the description is illustrative and not to be construed as limiting the invention. Various modifications and changes may occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the true scope and spirit of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for gauging and adjusting electrical connector contacts comprising:

gauging means including a plate, a connector portion on one end of said plate for insertion into a connector, handle means on the opposite end of said plate for facilitating insertion of said gauging means into a connector and removal therefrom, and clamp means for maintaining an impressionable material on said plate and wrapped about said connector 4 portion; and

contact adjusting means including an elongated member, handle means on one end of said member, and a two-pronged contact engaging means of the opposite end of said member for establishing proper contact gap setting.

' 2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said clamp means of said gauging means comprises a single clamp and means for pivotally attaching said clamp to one face of said plate near said connector portion, and said plate includes a slot in association with said clamp for facilitating the clamping of said impressionable material.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim I wherein said two-pronged contact engaging means of said contact adjusting means includes substantially parallel outer surfaces and inclined inner surfaces.

4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 3 wherein the depth of said two prongs and the angle of prong inclination is correlated with contact dimensions whereby the contact is fully inserted into said prong means to establish desired contact gap setting.

5. Means for cleaning and gauging contacts of an electrical connector for printed circuit boards comprising a plate, a connector portion on one end of said plate for insertion into a connector handle means on the opposite end of said plate for facilitating insertion of said gauging means into a connector and removal therefrom, and clamp means for maintaining an impressionable material on said plate and wrapped about said connector portion.

6. Means for cleaning and gauging contacts as defined by claim 5 wherein said clamp means of said gauging means comprises a single clamp and means for pivotally attaching said clamp to one face of said plate near said connector portion, and said plate includes a slot in association with said clamp for facilitating the clamping of said impressionable material.

7. Means for adjusting contacts of an electrical connector for printed circuit boards comprising an elongated member, handle means on one end of said member, and a two-pronged contact engaging means at the opposite end of said member for establishing proper contact gap setting.

8. Means for adjusting contacts as defined by claim 7 wherein said two-pronged contact engaging means of said contact adjusting means includes substantially parallel outer surfaces and inclined inner surfaces.

9. Means for adjusting contacts as defined by claim 8 wherein the depth of said two prongs and the angle of prong inclination is correlated with contact dimensions whereby the contact is fully inserted into said prong means to establish desired contact gap setting.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3372455 *Oct 6, 1965Mar 12, 1968James R. HowieCommon multiple parts locating system
US3461533 *Mar 31, 1967Aug 19, 1969IttContact terminal extraction tool
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3972102 *May 12, 1975Aug 3, 1976Honeywell Inc.Means for making an electrical connector
US4993100 *Sep 20, 1989Feb 19, 1991Halboth Llewellyn JDevice for cleaning electrical connector male and female contact pins and receptacle
US5148572 *Dec 20, 1989Sep 22, 1992Wells James MVideo game console and cartridge cleaning kit
US5179808 *Jun 18, 1992Jan 19, 1993Curtis Manufacturing Company, Inc.Video game or computer cleaning cartridge
US5181965 *May 12, 1992Jan 26, 1993Curtis Manufacturing Company, Inc.Method of cleaning electrical contacts for computer and video games
US5187902 *Jun 18, 1992Feb 23, 1993Curtis Manufacturing Company, Inc.Cleaning cartridge for computer and video games
US5201093 *Jul 6, 1992Apr 13, 1993Wells James MVideo game console and cartridge cleaning kit
WO1993000177A1 *Jun 19, 1992Jan 7, 1993Curtis Mfg CoCleaning cartridge and method for computer and video games
Classifications
U.S. Classification81/484, 72/479, 15/210.1
International ClassificationH01R43/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R12/7005
European ClassificationH01R23/70A