US 3816897 A
Apparatus for connecting conductors to the terminals in a connector comprises a conductor jig which holds the conductors in parallel spaced-apart relationship and a connector jig which holds the connector adjacent to the conductor with the conductors in alignment with the terminals in the connector. The connector jig is pivotally mounted on the frame of the apparatus to permit positioning of the conductor jig on the apparatus frame and loading of a connector in the connector jig. The connections of the conductors to the terminals are formed with an insertion slide which is movable along a predetermined path extending past the conductor jig and to the connector jig.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[451 June 18, 1974 United States Patent [191 Long APPARATUS FOR CONNECTING CONDUCTORS T0 TERMINALS IN A rimary Examiner-Thomas H. Eager PRE-LOAD ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR  ABSTRACT Apparatus for connecting conductors to the terminals in a connector comprises a con  Inventor: Robert Alvin Long, Harrisburg, Pa.
ductor jig which holds  Assignee: AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa.  Filed:
Apr. 24, 1973 the conductors in parallel spaced-apart relationship and a connector jig which holds the connector ad ja- 211 Appl. No; 354,028
cent to the conductor with the conductors in alignment with the terminals in the connector. The con 52] US. Cl. 29/203 MW, 29/203 P tor j g is pivotally mounted on the frame of the pp  Int. Cl. HOlr 43/00, HOSk 13/06 rams to permit positioning p the conductor jig on the  Field of Search...... 29/203 MW, 203 R, 203 D, apparatus frame and loading of a connector n the 29/203 J, 203 P, 203 HT connector ig. The connections of the conductors to the terminals are formed with an insertion slide which is movable along a predetermined path extendin the conductor jig and to the connector jig.
g past References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,758,935 Long et al. 29/203 MW 7 Claims, 13 r g Figures PATENTEHM 18 m4 sum as or 10 PATENTEDJUM 18 I974 sum 01 or amass? PATENTEDJHN 1 me 3.816897 sugggna HF 10 PATENTEDJuu 18 m4 sum 10 0F 10 APPARATUS FOR CONNECTING CONDUCTORS TO TERMINALS IN A PRE-LOAD ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an apparatus for trimming the ends of conductors and inserting the trimmed ends into conductor receiving slots in terminals contained in an electrical connector. A known type of apparatus for performing this same operation is disclosed and claimed in U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 147,578 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,758,935.
The herein disclosed embodiment of the invention is adapted to insert insulated wires contained in a sheathed cable into the wire receiving slots in the terminals, however, the principles of the invention can also be employed to connect fiat ribbon-like conductors to terminals as disclosed in U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 310,056 filed Nov. 28, 1972.
It is now common practice to manufacture multicontact electrical connectors having terminals therein which have conductor receiving slots such that upon movement of a conductor laterally of its axis and into the slot, the edges of the slot engage, and make electrical contact with, the conductor. Under most circumstances, it is advantageous to connect a plurality of conductors to an equal number of terminals in the connector by the use of a conductor insertion apparatus as disclosed in the above identified U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 147,578 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,758,935. This known apparatus has means for trimming the ends of the conductors immediately prior to insertion of the conductors into the slots so that a neat appearing and orderly installation of the connector on the ends of the connectors is achieved.
The instant invention is specifically directed to the achievement of an improved conductor trimming and insertion apparatus in which the conductors are moved along a short straight line path while they are being inserted into the slots in the terminals by means of an insertion slide which moves along a rectilinear path. As will be explained below, apparatus in accordance with the invention is particularly suitable for inserting conductors into the slots in terminals under circumstances where comparatively high forces are required as, for example, where a relatively large number of conductors are being inserted into terminals and/or where the conductors are of a relatively coarse gauge wire.
The invention comprises a frame having a slide therein which is reciprocable along a straight-line path. A connector jig is provided adjacent to one end of this path and a conductor jig is removable mounted proximate to the end of the path. A pair of cable clamps are provided on each side of the path so that associated pairs of wires in a cable can be connected to corresponding terminals in two rows in the connector.
It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide an improved apparatus for connecting conductors to the conductor receiving portions of electrical terminals contained in an electrical device such as a multicontact electrical connector. A further object is to provide a conductor insertion apparatus adapted to insert conductors into slots in terminals under circumstances where the insertion forces are relatively high. A further object is to provide an improved apparatus which is capable of inserting a relatively large number of conductors into slots in terminals. A further object is to provide an apparatus which can be operated without a high degree of skill.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved in a preferred embodiment thereof which is briefly described in the foregoing abstract, which is described in detail below, and which is shown in the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view of a multicontact electrical connector of a type for which the herein disclosed insertion apparatus is intended.
FIG. 2 is a sectional fragmentary view of the connector of FIG. 1. I FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 1 but showing the back cover of the connector in its assembled relationship to the connector housing.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a preferred form of apparatus in accordance with the invention showing the positions of the parts immediately prior to trimming of the conductors and insertion of the conductors into the slots of the terminals.
FIG. 5 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 4 showing insertion slide in its normal or open position.
FIG. 5A is a top plan view of the apparatus.
FIG. 6 is a frontal view of the apparatus showing the connector jig and the connector jig clamping bar in their open positions.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of the insertion slide, the guide means for the slide, and a wire jig.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side view, on an enlarged scale, of the insertion zone of the apparatus showing the insertion slide in its retracted position, the connector jig in its closed position, and showing a conductor jig mounted on the frame between the connector jig and the insertion slide.
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the positions of the parts at the conclusion of the conductor trimming and inserting operation.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a connector jig and a connector jig clamping arm which are part of the apparatus.
FIGS. 11 and 12 are perspective views illustrating the manner in which the wires in a cable are positioned in a pair of conductor jigs.
FIGS. 1-3 show a known type of multi-contact electrical connector for which the apparatus of the instant invention is particularly adapted. This connector will be described only to the extent necessary for an understanding of the instant invention and is described fully in U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 1417,569 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,760,335.
The connector 12 is adapted to be installed on the ends of wires 2 contained in a cable 4 having a covering or sheath 6. The connector contains a plurality of terminals 10 each of which has a conductor receiving portion 8 which is adapted to receive a conductor 2 in a manner described below. The connector comprises a housing having a mating face 14 in which there is provided a recess 38 and a rearward face 16 from which a central rib 1 extends. A plurality of cavities 20, 20' extend through the housing from the rearward face 16 to the inner wall 40 of the recess 38 and a terminal 10 extends through each of these cavities. The terminals are separated from each other by barriers 22, 22 on the upper and lower sides of the rib 18 and these barriers extend to ledges 42, 42' adjacent to the rearward face 16.
The conductor receiving portion 8 of the terminal comprises parallel plate sections 24, 26 which are con nected at their upper ends by straps 28. Each plate section has a slot 30 so that a wire two can be moved laterally of its axis between the straps 28 and into the slots. Each terminal further has a shank portion 32 extending from its plate section 26 and an offset contact portion 34 on its free end which extends into the recess 38.
The housing shown has an outwardly extending flange 46 and ears 48 at its ends for mounting or coupling purposes. The connector shown is a socket type and is adapted to be mated with a complementary plug connector as described in US. Pat. application Ser. No. 147,569.
A back cover 50 is usually provided on the connector housing and has a generally U-shaped cross-section throughout its length with sidewalls 52 and an endwall 54 at one of its ends. The opposed surfaces of the sidewalls have grooves or recesses 56 which receive the enlarged end portions of the barriers 22, 22' and serve to ensure that the conductors are maintained in the slots in the terminals. It should also be noted that the righthand end of the backcover is open as shown at 58 and a clamp 60 is provided on this end to clamp the sheath 6 of the cable to the backcover. The cable thus extends laterally away from the connector and the sheath is cut from the cable for a short distance from its end to expose the wires. As will be explained below, the use of an apparatus in accordance with the invention permits the achievement of neatly dressed and efficiently arranged wire ends within the cover in the installed connector.
It should finally be mentioned that the conductors 2 in the cable are associated with each other as twisted pairs 3 and it is usually required that the two conductors of a pair 3 be connected to corresponding terminals on the upper and lower sides of the rib 18.
Referring now to FIGS. 4-9, a preferred form of apparatus 62 in accordance with the invention comprises a frame generally indicated at 64 (FIGS. 5 and 6) and comprising parallel side plates 66, 68, upper and lower front transverse frame members 70, '72 and a rear transverse member 74. An insertion slide 76 is reciprocably mounted between the surface of the frame member and a generally channel-shaped guide block 78 (FIG. 7) having end sections 80 and a back wall 82, the slide 76 being guided between the opposed surfaces 84 of the end sections. An insertion punch holder 86 is secured to the upper end of the slide 76 by fasteners 88, vertically extending grooves in the backwall 82 of the guide block being provided for clearance for these fasteners as shown in FIG. 5. On its upper end, the punch holder has spaced-apart flanges 92, 94 between which a plurality of insertion punches 96 are mounted. The number and spacing of these punches conforms to the number and spacing of the terminals in the connector so that each punch will engage an individual wire and move it to a terminal as described below.
A yoke 98 is fastened to the lower end of slide 76 and cam rollers 100 are mounted on the opposed surfaces of the depending arms of this yoke. These rollers are positioned in cam tracks 102 on the two faces of a cam 104 which is keyed at 105 to a shaft 106 (FIG. 5). The shaft 106 is journalled in the front transverse frame member 72 and in the rear frame member 74. A single revolution clutch 108 is provided on the shaft 106 and has an integral collar 110 which is secured by fasteners 111 to a sprocket 112. The sprocket is coupled by a chain 115 to the output sprocket 119 of a continuously operating motor 117 which is contained in a housing beside the frame. The sprocket 112, collar 110 and clutch 108 thus rotate continuously on shaft 106 which is normally at rest. The shaft 106 may be rotated through a single revolution by engaging the single revolution clutch 108 thereby to reciprocate the slide 76 through a single insertion cycle. Engagement of the clutch 108 is effected with a solenoid control means generally indicated at 114 and control button 116. The clutch 108 and the control solenoid for this clutch may be of standard design and need not be described in further detail. The clutch, for example, may be of the type sold as model number CB5 of Precision Speciality 1ndustries of Pitman, New Jersey.
Referring again to FIGS. 7 and 8, the wires which are to be connected to the terminals are first located in a wire jig 118 which has a rectangular frame 120 with parallel sides 122, 124, and ends 123. A block 126 of plastic is mounted on the side 122 and has relatively tall spaced-apart barriers 128 on its upper side, the spacing between these barriers being sufficient to receive an individual wire 2 and the locations of the barriers being such that wires positioned in the jig will be located relative to each other in positions corresponding to the positions of the terminals in the connector.
Another block 130 of hard plastic is mounted on the side 124 of the frame and this block has relatively low barriers 132 on its upper side. These barriers 132 extend beyond the side 124 and the surfaces 133 between adjacent barriers slope downwardly as viewed in FIG. 8 so that the wires will slope downwardly beneath the connector as shown. The ends 123 are notched as shown at 134 and recesses 136 are provided on the upper end of the guide block 78 for the accomodation of these ends 123. The conductor jig 118 is thus removably and accurately positioned on the upper end of the frame of the apparatus as shown best in FIG. 8.
Referring now to FIGS. 6, 8, and 10, the connector is held, during insertion of the wires, in a connector jig 138 which comprises an arm 140 having a plate section 141 on its fixed end. This plate section is pivoted at 142 to a bracket 139 which in turn is secured by fasteners to left hand end (as viewed in FIG. 6) of the transverse frame section 70.
The arm 140 is generally U-shaped having end sections 143 on the ends of which are provided integral flanges 144 which extend towards each other. A steel plate 145 is secured to the underside of the arm 140 and has an upwardly directed lip or flange 147 on its righthand side as viewed in FIG. 8. The connector is located in the jig by moving it downwardly and between the end sections 143 of the arm so that the ledge 42 of the connector is supported on the edge of the lip 147 and the sides 19 of the rib 18 of the connector housing are against the opposed edges 148 of the flanges 144. When the connector housing is so positioned, the mating face of the housing will be against the rightwardly facing (as viewed in FIG. 8) side 149 of the arm.
It will be apparent that the connector must be precisely positioned with respect to the insertion tool holder 86 and the punches 96 so that the wires will be accurately and precisely moved into the wire receiving portions of the terminals. In order to permit adjustment of the location of the lip 147 and, therefore, adjustment of the position of the connector, the plate 145 is adjustably mounted (as by slots through which the fasteners 146 extend) on the underside of the arm 140. In order to prevent movement of the plate from an adjusted position, back up blocks 151) are secured by means of fasteners in recesses on the leftwardly facing side of the arm. As shown in FIG. 8, these blocks 150 extend below the arm and engage the edge 152 of the plate 145.
It is desirable to provide additional support for the connector while the wires are being inserted into the terminals because of the fact that substantial stresses are imposed on the connector. To this end, a clamping arm 154 is provided which has an inner end 156 pivoted to the previously identified pivot pin 142. This clamping arm has a recess 157 on its righthand side in which a clamping plate 159 is fastened, the clamping plate being adapted to engage the upper ledge of the connector housing so that the housing is positioned be tween the lip 147 and the plate 159. As is apparent from FIG. 8, the arm 154, extends over the connector jig arm 1411 when the connector jig and arm and the clamping arm are in their closed positions as described below. A flange or skirt 168 of the clamping arm extends down over the lefthand side of the jig arm 140 as shown in FIG. 8. The clamping arm 154i is latched in its closed position by means of a leg 160 on its free end which is received in a recess 166 of a latch block 162. This latch block is secured to the frame member 70 on the righthand side thereof as viewed in FIG. 6 and has a spring biased latching pin therein which is adapted to extend through a hole in the lower end of the leg 160. A rod 16d extends through a slot in the side of the block 162 to permit the pin to be retracted while the clamping arm is being moved to its closed condition.
A pair of cable clamps for clamping the cable sheath are provided behind, and adjacent to, the insertion slide. These clamps are identical so that a description of one will suffice for both and only the clamp shown in FIG. 5 will be described. The clamp 170 is mounted on a bracket 172 and comprises a base 174 having spaced-apart upwardly extending ears 176, 173. The clamp further comprises a clamping arm 130 which is pivoted at its inner end to the ear 17d and to the end of a clamping lever 172.. The lever in turn is connected intermediate its ends by a link 184 to the ears 178. The cable is supported during clamping by struck-up sections 186 of the horizontal section of the bracket 172. The clamp 17% is shown in its closed or clamping relationship to a cable in FIG. 5. The cable can be unclamped by merely turning the lever 182 in a counterclockwise direction from the position shown.
In use, and assuming, that it is desired to connect the conductors of a cable d to the terminals in a connector and particularly to connect the two conductors of each pair of conductors in the cable to corresponding terminals on the two sides of the rib 18, a lacing or wire positioning procedure as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 is first followed. Two connector jigs 118 are positioned in parallel spaced apart relationship as shown in FIG. 11 and the sheath or cover 6 is removed from the end of the cable. A pair 3 of wires is then selected and the wires of the pair are separated, one wire 2 being positioned between in one wire holding position of the jig 118 and the other wire being positioned in the corresponding wire holding position of the jig 1181'. This process is repeated until one half of the wires (one wire of each pair in the cable) is in the jig 118 and the other one half are in the jig 118' with the two wires of each pair 3 being in corresponding positions in the jigs as shown in FIG. 12.
One of the conductor jigs 118 is then positioned on the frame as shown in FIG. 8 and the cable is clamped in one of the cable clamps 170. The connector jig 138 is then swung from its open position as shown in FIG. 6 to its closed positions so that it is beside the conductor jig on the frame. A connector is then mounted in the connector jig, and the cable arm 154 is swung to its closed position (FIG. 8) and latched in the latching block 162. The single revolution clutch is then engaged to wave the insertion slide upwardly and to return it to its lowered position. This movement of the insertion slide causes trimming of the ends of the wires and insertion of the trimmed ends into the terminals as shown in FIG. 9.
The clamping arm 154 is then unlatched and swung to its open position and the cable is released from the one of the clamps in which it was held. The connector is then removed from the connector jig 138 and the connector jig is swung to its open position. The first conductor jig (which now contains no wires) is removed and the second conductor jig is positioned on the tool frame. The arm 138 is then again swung to its closed position, the cable 4 is clamped in the other one of the cable clamps 170, the connector is reversed so that the remaining row of terminals are opposed to the insertion slide, and the connector is mounted in the connector jig. The clamping arm 154 is again closed and latched, and the single revolution clutch is again engaged to trim the wires in the second conductor jig and insert them into the second row of terminals in the connector. The wires of each pair 3 in the cable will then be connected to corresponding terminals in the too rows of the connector by virtue of the fact the connector was reversed between the two insertion operations.
An insertion apparatus in accordance with the invention has several significant advantages which result from the structural features and arrangement of the parts as described above. The insertion slide moves along a straight line path towards the connector which is firmly clamped and supported in the connector jig. Because of the straight line motion of the insertion slide, the wires are moved along a straight line path from the conductor jig to the terminals and there is little or no possibility of one or more wires being improperly inserted. The straight line motion of the wires laterally of their axes is accurately controlled and they are precisely and accurately positioned in the terminals.
The straight line motion of the insertion slide and punches coupled with the provision of the clamping arm 154 also result in uniform stressing of the connector housing during the insertion operation. It will be appreciated that this simultaneous insertion results in the imposition of substantial forces on the housing but the fact that the housing is supported by the clamping arm prevents any damage to the housing during insertion.
It should also be mentioned that an apparatus in accordance with the invention can be readily modified to insert wires into connectors of varying sizes and having varying numbers of terminals; for example, if wires are to be inserted into a connector is larger than the one shown in FIG. l and which has a larger number of terminals therein, it is merely necessary to remove the connector jig, the clamping arm 154, and the insertion slide 86 from the apparatus and replace these elements with corresponding parts which are designed for the larger connector. Finally, it is possible with the instant apparatus to install the connector on the ends of the conductors in a manner such that the cable sheath 6 extends close to the ends of the wires as shown in FIG. 1 so that the sheath will be held in the cable clamp 6th of the back cover 50 and the wires will extend neatly from the sheath to the terminals with little or no slack wire as also shown in FIG. 1.
Changes in construction will occur to those skilled in the art and various apparently different modifications and embodiments may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The matter set forth in the foregoing description and accompanying drawings is offered by way of illustration only.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for simultaneously inserting each of a plurality of conductors into the conductor-receiving portions of each of a plurality of electrical contact terminals which are mounted in the housing of an electrical device such as a multi-contact electrical connector, said apparatus comprising:
a conductor insertion slide in said frame, said slide being reciprocable along a predetermined rectilinear path,
a conductor jig means for holding a plurality of conductors in parallel side-by-side relationship at locations, relative to each other, corresponding to the spacing between said terminals in said housing, said jig means being on said frame and extending normally of said path,
a housing jig means which is adapted to hold said housing, said housing jig means being normally on said frame at one end of said path and adjacent to said conductor jig means, said housing jig means being effective to hold said housing with said conductor receiving portions of said terminals in alignment with conductors in said conductor jig means, said housing jig means being movable from said normal position and away from said path,
conductor engaging means on said insertion slide,
said engaging means being effective to engage conductors in said conductor jig means and move said conductors into said conductor receiving portions of said contact terminals during movement of said insertion slide along said path past said conductor jig means and to said connector jig means, and
first and second conductor clamps adjacent to said conductor jig means and on opposite sides of said path whereby,
upon positioning conductors in said conductor jig means, moving said housing jig means to said normal position, clamping said conductors in one of said conductor clamps, and moving said slide along said path to said housing jig means, said conductors are moved from said conductor jig means and into said conductor receiving portions of said terminals.
2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1, said conductor jig means being removably mounted on said frame.
3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2, said slide and said housing jig means having cooperable shearing edge means thereon for trimming said conductors.
4. Apparatus as set forth in claim 3, said housing jig means being pivotally mounted on said frame on one side of said path.
5. Apparatus for trimming the ends of pairs of wires in a cable and inserting the trimmed ends into the wirereceiving slots of electrical contact terminals in a multicontact electrical connector, said connector comprising an insulating housing and said wire-receiving portions being arranged in parallel rows which extend across said housing, said apparatus comprising:
a wire trimming and insertion slide in said frame, said slide being reciprocable along a predetermined path in said frame,
wire positioning jig means comprising two wire positioning jigs, each of said wire positioning jigs having wire positioning means thereon for supporting a plurality of wires in side-by-side parallel relationship at locations, relative to each other, corresponding to the locations of said conductorreceiving slots in said connector, each of said wirepositioning jigs being removably mountable on said frame on said path intermediate the ends thereof and being effective to locate wires positioned therein on said path, connector positioning jig pivotally secured to said frame on one side of said path and adjacent to one end of said path, said connector positioning jig being pivotally movable between open and closed positions, said connector positioning jig extending obliquely with respect to said path when in said open position and being beside one of said wire positioning jigs mounted on said frame when said connector positioning jigs are in said closed position, whereby a connector in said connector positioning jig is beside conductors in said one wire positioning jig when said connector positioning jig is in said closed position, first and second cable clamping means on said frame on each side of said path and adjacent to said one wire positioning jig, and
fixed and movable wire shearing means, said fixed shearing means comprising an edge of said connector positioning jig and said movable shearing means comprising one edge of said slide whereby upon positioning one wire of each pair in said cable in one of said wire positioning jigs and the other wire in the other one of said jigs with the two wires of each pair in corresponding positions in said jigs, and upon mounting one of said jigs on said frame, moving said connector jigs to said closed position, mounting said connector in said connector jig and actuating said slide, said wires in said one jig will be trimmed and moved from said one wire positioning jig and into said slots of said terminals in one of said rows, and upon subsequently mounting the other one of said jigs on said frame, reversing said connector, and again actuating said slide, the wires in said other one of said jigs will be trimmed and moved into said slots of the second row of terminals in said connector, and the two wires of each pair will be connected to corresponding terminals in said two rows.
open and closed positions, said clamping arm extending obliquely with respect to said path when in said open position and extending parallel to, and in clamping relationship to, said connector positioning jig when in said closed position.