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Publication numberUS3815077 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 4, 1974
Filing dateFeb 28, 1973
Priority dateFeb 28, 1973
Also published asCA994444A1, DE2409075A1
Publication numberUS 3815077 A, US 3815077A, US-A-3815077, US3815077 A, US3815077A
InventorsJ Anhalt, D Goodman
Original AssigneeItt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connector assembly
US 3815077 A
Abstract
An electrical connector assembly for interconnecting an electrical circuit element having a plurality of electrical leads extending therefrom with a printed circuit board having conductive strips thereon. The connector assembly comprises an insulated housing which is releasably mounted on the board and contains a plurality of compartments each receiving an electrical contact. Slots are formed in the upper wall of the housing for receiving the electrical leads of the electrical circuit element while apertures are formed in the lower wall thereof. Each contact has the general configuration of the numeral "9." The lower curved portion of the contact extends across the aperture in the housing to contact a conductive strip on the printed circuit board. The free end of the lower curved portion of each contact extends into a recess in the wall of the housing to retain the contact therein.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Anhalt et a1.

[ ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY [75] Inventors: John W. Anhalt; David S. Goodman,

both of Orange, Calif.

[73] Assignee: International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, New York, NY.

221 Filed: Feb. 28, 1973 211 Appl. No.2 336,606

[52] U.S. C1 339/17 CF, 317/101 CP, 339/95 D,

' 339/125 R, 339/192 R, 339/256 R [51] Int. Cl. H01! 23/02,. H0516 H04 [58] Field of Search 339/17 R, 17 C, 17 CF,

339/17 LM, 17 M, 17 D, 18 R, 18C, 75 MP, 64-66, 95 R, 95 D, 99, 174, 176 R, 176 M, 176 MP, 191 M, 192 R, 92 R, 92 M, 119, 125, 126, 217, 198, 252, 256, 154, 156;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,297,974 1/1967 Pittman 339/17 CF 3,393,396 7/1968 Majewski 3,397,380 8/1968 Puig 339/99 R 3,475,657 10/1969 Knowles 339/17 C X 1 June 4, 1974 3,659,243 4/1972 Gluntz 339/192 R 3,668,604 6/ 1972 Rossman 3,696,323 10/1972 Kinkaid et a1 339/17 C X Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay

' Assistant Examiner-Terrell P. Lewis Attorney, Agent, or FirmThomas L. Peterson [5 7] ABSTRACT An electrical connector assembly for interconnecting an electrical circuit element having a plurality of electrical leads extending therefrom with a printed circuit board having conductive strips thereon. The connector assembly comprises an insulated housing which is releasably mounted on the board and contains a plurality of compartments each receiving an electrical contact. Slots are formed in the upper wall of the housing for receiving the electrical leads of the electrical circuit element while apertures are formed in the lower wall thereof. Each contact has the general configuration of the numeral 9. The lower curved portion of the contact extends across the aperture in the housing to contact a conductive strip on the printed circuit board. The free end of the lower curved portion of each contact extends into a recess in the wall of the housing to retain the contact therein.

13 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 1 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to an electrical connector assembly and, more particularly, to such an assembly for interconnecting an electrical circuit element having a plurality of electrical leads extending therefrom with a mounting member having conductive strips thereon.

The present invention will be described specifically with respect to a connector assembly for interconnecting an electrical circuit member, referred to in the art as a dual-in-line plug, to a mounting member such as a printed circuit board. However, it will be appreciated that the connector assembly of the invention could be used for interconnecting other types of circuit elements to mounting members.

The connector assembly of the type towhich this invention relates is often referred to as a dual-in-line package socket. Conventionally, such a socket consists of a two-piece molded dielectric body or housing. Individual contacts for each lead of the dual-in-line plug are provided in the housing. The contacts are assembled into one portion of the body, and then the other half of the body is bonded or snapped onto the contact body assembly. This type of construction results in a multiplicity of components which raises the cost of the finished product. Further, the finished part is relatively large, that is, requires more volume than is absolutely necessary. These two latter-mentioned considerations are of major importance for components used in high density packaged, high production volume electronic units. Also, in conventional dual-in-line package sockets, the contacts are soldered in holes in the printed circuit board. This is undesirable in that the solder often remains on the wire-wrap posts of the contacts, and individual soldering of the contacts into the printed circuit board is relatively expensive. Also, the solder must be removed from the contacts in order to replace the contacts.

US. Pat. No. 3,475,657 discloses a connector assembly for interconnecting printed circuit boards to a base board. In this assembly, rather complex formed contacts are mounted in compartments in the connector assembly, with the lower end portions of the contacts extending below the lower surface of the assembly for engagement with conductive strips on the base board. This arrangement has the advantage that extra holes need not be drilled in the base board for mounting the contacts thereto, thereby leaving a greater surface for conductive traces on the board. Also, the costly soldering operation for connecting the contacts to the board are eliminated. However, this connector assembly is not adapted to mount dual-inline plugs. Also, the contacts are rather complex in configuration and, therefore, are expensive to manufacture. In addition, the contacts are not shaped so as to provide a high unit force of contact with the conductors on the printed circuit boards mounted in the socket.

The purpose of the present invention is to overcome the attendant disadvantages of the prior art dual-in-line package sockets by providing a structure whichis simple in construction, thereby minimizing production costs by eliminating components and permitting the use of high production techniques with a minimum of assembly required. More particularly, by the present invention, the cost and inconvenience of utilizing soldering techniques to fix the Socket contacts onto the printed circuit board is eliminated. The contacts are also relatively simple in configuration and provide a high unit force for effectively interconnecting the leads of a dual-in-line plug with the traces on the printed circuit board upon which the socket is mounted. The contacts are also designed so that they may be produced by mass production techniques and assembled simultaneously in the connector assembly. The contacts are suitably retained in the compartments within the connector assembly and may be readily removed for replacement without unsoldering or severing any connections.

SUMMARY OF THE lNVENTlON According to the principal aspect of the present invention, there is provided an electrical connector assembly for interconnecting an electrical circuit element having a plurality of electrical leads extending therefrom with a mounting member having conductive strips thereon. The connector assembly comprises an insulated housing which is releasably mounted on the mounting member and is formed with a plurality of compartments each receiving an electrical contact. Slots are formed in the upper wall of the housing opening into the compartments for receiving the electrical leads of the electrical circuit element and apertures are formed in the lower wall of the housing. The contacts are formed of a spring metal strip and are insertable into the compartments in the connector assembly through the apertures in the lower wall thereof. Each contact has a generally straight vertically extending intermediate portion, a first curved portion extending upwardly from the upper end of the intermediate portion and downwardly under the slot for engagement with the leads of the electrical circuit element, and a second curved portion extending downwardly from the lower end of the intermediate portion and across the aperture in the lower wall of the housing to contact a conductive strip on the mounting member. Preferably the free end of the second curved portion of each contact extends into a recess formed in the wall of each compartment to retain the contact in the compartment. The contacts may be easily removed from the housing without unsoldering or severing any connections after the housing has been removed from the mounting member. A plurality of such contacts may be mounted simultaneously into the compartments in the housing of the connector assembly thus minimizing assembly time. Other aspects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating an electrical circuit element positioned to be mounted in an electrical connector assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention, such assembly be positioned on a planar mounting member;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the connector assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view, partially in section, of the connector assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 showing the contacts mounted in the connector assembly prior to mounting the latter on the mounting member,

FIG. 5 is a partial vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 4 with the connector assembly mounted on the mounting member and a lead of the electrical circuit element inserted in a compartment of the connector assembly fully engaged with the contact therein; FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the connector assembly turned upside down with a plurality of contacts joined by a common carrier strip positioned to be inserted into the compartments in the assembly; and

FIG. 7 is an end view of the plurality of contacts illustrated in FIG. 6 joined by the carrier strip.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. I in detail, there is shown the electrical connector assembly or socket of the present invention, generally designated 10, which may be used to interconnect an electrical circuit element 12 to a mounting member 14. The electrical circuit element 12, which may be a dual-in-line plug, has a plurality of electrical leads 16 which extend laterally outwardly from opposite sides of the element and downwardly below the lower surface of the element. The element 12 may be an integrated circuit or other electrical circuit component.

The mounting member 14 is a printed circuit board having conductive strips or traces 17 thereon. The board is formed with a pair of holes 18 therein. Although only two of such holes are shown, additional holes could be provided if desired. The connector or socket assembly comprises a hollow housing or shell 20, generally rectangular in configuration, and preferably formed as an integral plastic molding. The housing includes a pair of side walls 22 and an intermediate upstanding wall 24 spaced from the side walls. Transverse walls 26 and end walls 27 define two rows of separate compartments 28 for receiving electrical contact elements 30. If desired, the housing could be divided longitudinally into two separate strips each having a row of compartments therein. In this case, the two strips could be joined together in any suitable manner, such as by hubs on one strip tightly engaged in openings in the other strip. I

The housing is provided with downwardly extending hubs 31 aligned with the holes 18 in the mounting member 14, such hubs being somewhat larger than the holes to establish an interference fit that retains the housing on the mounting member.

Slots 32 are formed in the upper wall 34 of the housing and open into the upper portion of the compartments 28. Apertures 36 in the lower wall 37 of the housing 20 communicate the compartments 28 to the lower surface 38 of the housing. The two rows of compartments 28 are arranged in a pattern so that the slots 32 will be in registry with the leads 16 of the electrical circuit element 12 when the latter is properly positioned over the housing and the apertures 36 will be in alignment with conductive strips 17 on the mounting member 14.

The contacts 30 in the two rows of compartments 28 are identical in structure but the two rows of contacts are mounted in the compartments so as to face in opposite directions as best seen in FIG. 4. The contacts are made of spring metal strips formed into the desired configuration. Each contact includes a generally straight vertically extending intermediate portion 40, an upper curved portion 42 and a lower curved portion 44. The upper curved portion extends upwardly from the upper end of the intermediate portion 40 and downwardly under the slot 32. The free end 46 of the upper curved portion bends back toward the intermediate portion 40. The lower curved portion 44 of each contact extends downwardly from the lower end of the intermediate portion 40 and across the aperture 36 in the lower portion of the housing 20. Thus, it is seen that the contact 30 has the general configuration of the numeral 9. The radius of curvature R and R of the curved portions 42 and 44, respectively, are generally constant and approximately equal to each other.

As seen in FIG. 4, before the connector assembly is mounted on the mounting member, the lower curved portion 44 of each contact in a compartment 28 extends below the lower surface 38 of the housing 20. The free ends 48 of the lower curved portions 44 of the contacts are bent generally horizontally to extend into windows 50 which are formed in the side walls 22 of the housing 20 in registry with the compartments 28. The intermediate portion 40 of each contact engages one end surface 52 of the compartment 28 defined by intermediate wall 24. The upper curved portion 42 of the contact engages the upper surface 54 of the compartment defined by the upper wall 34 and the contacting portion 56 of the upper curved portion of the contact engages the end surface 58 of the compartment defined by side wall 22. The contacting portion 56 preferably is constituted by a protuberance which will provide a high unit force between the contact and the lead 16 of the electrical circuit element 12. The lower curved portion 44 of the contact is also formed with a protuberance 58 on its lower surface for contact with a conductive strip 17 on the mounting member 14. The free end 48 of the contact engages the lower wall of the window 50 to retain the contact in the connector assembly.

Preferably, the contacts 30 are made from a single long thin sheet of metal, such as phosphorus bronze, joined by a common carrier strip 62. The contacts are initially stamped from a flat sheet and thereafter are formed into the desired configuration as seen in FIG. 7 while the individual contacts are still joined together. by the carrier strip 62. The contacts are slightly bevelledto areduced section 64 where the contacts are connected to the carrier strip 62 which allows the strip to be broken away from the contacts after the latter are inserted into the compartments 28 in the socket 10.

To mount the contacts in the compartments 28 of the connector assembly 10, the housing 20 is turned upside down as shown in FIG. 6. Then a plurality of contacts joined by the carrier strip 62 are positioned over the apertures 36 opening through the lower wall of the housing. A suitable tool, not shown, is then brought into engagement with the lower curved portions 44 of the contacts and moved vertically downwardly, as viewed in FIG. 6, to partially insert the contacts into the apertures until the carrier strip 62 engages the lower surface 38 of the housing. Thereafter, the carrier strip is broken away at the bevelled sections 64. At this instant, the free ends 48 of the contacts will engage bevelled surfaces 66 formed on the inner portion of the side walls 22 adjacent the lower ends thereof. Then the tool is further moved downwardly to force the contacts fully into the compartments 28 of the connector assembly. The free ends 48 of the contacts will snap into the windows 50 in the side walls to retain the contacts in the assembly.

Thereafter, the connector assembly is turned right side up and is fixedly mounted on the mounting member 14 by forcing the bosses 31 into the holes 18, as seen in FIG. 5. When the connector assembly is mounted flush on the mounting member 14, the protuberances 58 on the lower curved portions of the contacts will engage the conductive strips 17 on the mounting member and the free ends 48 of the contacts will shift upwardly in the windows 50.

It will be noted that the contacting portions 56 on the upper curved portions of the contacts are located below the slots 32 in the housing so that when the contact leads 16 of the electrical circuit element 12 are inserted into the slots, the leads will engage such contacting portions of the contact, as seen in FIG. 5. When the leads 16 are in the slots 32, the free ends 46 of the upper curved portions 42 of the contacts will be bent back closer toward the intermediate portions 40 of the contacts.

Thus, by the present invention, the contacts 30 may be easily and rapidly mounted in the socket 10, and will engage the conductive strips on the mounting member 14 without the requirement of soldering or other connecting techniques. Thus, manufacturing costs are minimized, and the problems of solder remaining on contact posts is eliminated. Further, the socket 10 may be easily mounted on the mounting member due to the frictional engagement of the bosses 31 with the holes 18 in the mounting member. In order to remove the contacts from the socket 10 for replacement or servicing, it is only necessary to utilize a tool, not shown, in the form of a comb having spaced teeth. The teeth are inserted into'the windows 50 to remove the free ends 48 of the contacts therefrom, thus permitting the contacts to be withdrawn from the compartments 28 in the socket. Also, it will be appreciated that the contacts 30 are simple in configuration and may be manufactured with minimum expense.

What is claimed is:

1. An electrical connector assembly for receiving an electrical circuit element having electrical leads extending therefrom comprising: w

a mounting member having conductive strips on the upper surface thereof; a an insulated housing member releasably mounted on the upper surface of said mounting member, said housing member having upper and lower walls;

a plurality of compartments formed in said housing member, each said compartment defining first and second end surfaces;

a recess formed in each said first end surface near the lower portion thereof;

slots in the upper wall of said housing member opening into said compartments for receiving the electrical leads of said electrical circuit element, each said slot being adjacent to said first end surface;

apertures in the lower wall of said housing member opening into said compartments; and

a contact positioned in each of said compartments, said contact being formed of a spring metal strip and being insertable into said compartment through said aperture, said contact having a generally straight vertically extending intermediate portion adjacent to said second end surface, a first curved portion extending upwardly from the upper end of said intermediate portion and downwardly 7 under said slot adjacent to said first end surface, a second curved portion extending downwardly from the lower end of said intermediate portion and across said aperture to contact said conductive strip, said second curved portion extending below the lower surface of said housing member when said housing member is detached from said mounting member, and the free end of said second curved portion extending into said recess to retain said contact in said compartment.

2. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein:

the free end of said first curved portion of said contact extends back toward said intermediate portion.

3. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein:

each said compartment also includes an upper surface; and

said contact is positioned in said compartment so that said intermediate portion engages said second end surface, and said first curved portion engages both said first end surface and said upper surface.

4. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein:

said contact has the general configuration'of the numeral 9.

5. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein:

each of said first and second curved portions have a generally constant radius of curvature before mounting in said compartments;

6. An assembly as set forth in claim 5 wherein:

said first and second curved portions have an approximately equal radius of curvature.

7. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein:

said housing member has a pair of rows of said compartments therein, the contacts in one pair of rows facing in a direction opposite to the contacts in the other pair of rows.

8. An assembly as set forth in claim 7 wherein: I

said housing member includes a pair of elongated upstanding side walls, an enlongated intermediate wall and transverse walls between said side walls and intermediate wall defining said pair of rows of compartments, the opposite sides of said intermediate walldefining a pair of said second end surfaces, said intermediate portions of said contacts engaging said intennediate wall of said housing member.

9. An assembly as set forth in claim 8 wherein:

said recesses are windows extending through said side walls whereby said free ends of said second curved portions of said contacts may be pushed inwardly through said walls from outside said housing member to withdraw said contacts from said compartments.

10. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 including:

a protuberance formed on said first curved portion of each said contact positioned to be engaged by said electrical leads of said electrical circuit element when said leads areinserted into said slots; and

a protuberance formed on the lower surface of each said second curved portion for engaging said conductive strips.

11. An electrical connector assembly for receiving an electrical circuit element having electrical leads extending therefrom comprising:

an insulated housing member having upper and lower walls;

a plurality of compartments formed in said housing member, each said compartment defining first and second end surfaces;

a recess formed in each said first end surface near the lower portion thereof;

slots in the upper wall of said housing member opening into said compartments for receiving the electrical leads of said electrical circuit elements, each said slot being adjacent said first end surface;

apertures in the lower wall of said housing member opening into said compartments; and

a contact positioned in each of said compartments, such contact being formed of a spring metal strip and being insertable into said compartment through said aperture, said contact having a generally straight vertically extending intermediate portion adjacent to said second end surface, a first curved portion extending upwardly from the upper end of said intermediate portion and downwardly under said slot adjacent to said first end surface, a second curved portion extending downwardly from the lower end of said intermediate portion and across said aperture, said second curved portion extending below the lower surface of said housing member, and the free end of said second curved portion extending into said recess to retain said contact in said compartment.

12. An assembly as set forth in claim 1] wherein:

the free end of said first curved portion of said contact extends back toward said intermediate portion.

13. An assembly as set forth in claim 11 wherein:

said contact has the general configuration of the numeral 9."

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/70, 439/329, 439/571, 439/862, 361/767, 257/693
International ClassificationH01R24/00, F16K31/06, H05K1/18, H05K7/10, H01R33/74, H01R33/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R12/714, H05K7/1038
European ClassificationH01R23/72B, H05K7/10E3B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 22, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: ITT CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004389/0606
Effective date: 19831122