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Publication numberUS3824530 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 16, 1974
Filing dateDec 5, 1972
Priority dateDec 5, 1972
Also published asCA984948A, CA984948A1, DE2359982A1, DE2359982C2
Publication numberUS 3824530 A, US 3824530A, US-A-3824530, US3824530 A, US3824530A
InventorsRoberts L, Shoemaker J
Original AssigneeAmp Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Installation of electrical connectors on wires intermediate the ends thereof
US 3824530 A
Abstract
Electrical connector having wire-in-slot electrical connecting means therein is applied to conductors intermediate the ends of the conductors. A cover or clamp is removably secured to the rearward side of the connector and functions to hold the conductors in the wire-receiving slots of the contact terminals which are contained in the connector. The cover also functions to gather the wires which extend towards the connector and confine them in the vicinity of the rearward end or side of the connector.
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United States Patent 11 1 Roberts et al.

[ INSTALLATION OF ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS ON WIRES INTERMEDIATE THE ENDS THEREOF [75] Inventors: Lincoln Edwin Roberts,

Winston-Salem; John Robert Shoemaker, Walkertown, both of NC.

[73] Assignee: AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa.

.[22] Filed:

Dec. 5, 1972 [21] App]. No; 312,395

[52] US. Cl 339/99 R [51] Int. Cl H0lr 9/00 [58] Fieldof Search 339/97 R, 97 P, 98, 99 R,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,060,115 10/1936 Pollock 339/9912 1451 July 16, 1974 2,735,078 2/1956 Greenbaum 339/99 R 3.629.803 Gluntz 339/206 R Primary- Examiner-James R. Boler Assistant Examiner-Peter Nerbun Attorney, Agent, or Firm-AMP Incorporated 5 7] ABSTRACT Electrical connector having wire-in-slot electrical connecting means therein is applied to conductors intermediate the ends of the conductors. A cover or clamp is removably secured to the rearward side of the connector and functions to hold the conductors in the wire-receiving slots of the contact terminals which are contained in the connector. The cover also functions to gather the wires which extend towards the connector and confine them in the vicinity of the rearward end or side of the connector.

6 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUL 1 6 I974 SHEET 6 BF 7 '1 INSTALLATION OF ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS ON WIRES INTERMEDIATE THE ENDS THEREOF RELATED U.S. PATENT APPLICATIONS The instant invention is directed to improvements to electrical connectors of the general type shown in U.S. application Ser. No. 147,569 filed May 27, 1971 (8029). The instant specification also discloses a wire inserting apparatus for inserting conductors into the contact terminals of a connector of the general type disclosed in application Ser. No. 147,578 filed May 27, 1971 (8041). While the instant invention is disclosed as an embodiment which includes a connector of the type shown and described in application Ser. No. 147,569, it will be apparent that the principles of the invention are widely'applicable to other types of connecting devices and specifically to other types of multicontact electrical connectors.

BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION sitioned in a wire holding jig in the assembly apparatus and moved from the wire jig to the terminals by an inserting member. During movement of the individual the ends thereof. A further object is to achieve an improved combination of a connector installed on a plurality of conductors intermediate the end thereof. It is a further object to provide a connector having improved cover means on its rearward side which cover means is adapted to enclose intermediate portions of conductors which are electrically connected to terminals in the connector. A further object is to provide a cover means for a wire-in-slot type electrical connector which has beenassembled to intermediate portions of wires, the cover means serving to maintain theconductors in the slots of the electrical terminals, to clamp the conductors and thereby provide a tensile strain relief, and to dress or guide the conductors extending through the connector in a neat and orderly fashion.

These and other objects of the invention are achieved 'in a preferred embodiment thereof which is briefly dethereof in accordance with the invention.

conductors into the conductor receiving slots of. the

terminals in the connector, the excess conductor is trimmed from the ends of the conductors, so that a neat appearing and orderly installation of the connector on the conductors is achieved. I

The instant invention is directed to improvements which permit installation of a connector on the conductors at a location intermediate the ends of the conductor. Such installation of the connector results in the achievement of substantial economies in themanufacturing of many types of electrical harnesses and cables and reduces the possibility of manufacturing errors in the production of such harnesses. Specifically, in the manufacture of an electrical harness, it is frequently necessary to have two conductors extending to a specific terminal in an electrical connector and this has been accomplishedin the past by simply connecting as by soldering two pre-cut conductors to the terminal. In accordance with the instant invention, a single conductor can be electrically connected to the terminal intermediate its ends so that there is only one electrical interface at the terminal. It is also required under some circumstances to provide an electrical harness or cable comprising three or more electrical connectors and a plurality of conductors which are electrically connected to corresponding terminal positions in the three connectors. As will be shown hereinbelow, the manufacture of a cable of this type is greatly simplified if the principles of the invention are employed.

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide an improved electrical connector which is adapted to be installed on a plurality of conductors intermediate F IG; 2 is a perspective view of a two-part cover which is adapted to be assembled to a connector which has been installed on conductors. v

FIG. 2A is a fragmentary perspective view of the rearward side of the connector shown in FIG. I with the cover means removed.

FIG. 3 is a perspective sectional view of the connector shownin FIG. 1, one of the contact terminals being exploded from theconnector housing.

-FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the lines 4-4 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a semi-schematic plan view of an electrical harness containing connectors installed on the conductors of the harness in. accordance with the invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a preferred form of apparatus for connecting a plurality of conductors to the terminals of a connector in accordance with the invention, this view showing the tool with its movable parts in their opened position and illustrating the manner of lacing the conductors through wire-holding jigs of the tool.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the tool of FIG. 6 showing the parts in their closed positions which they occupy at the completion of the installation process.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view on an enlarged scale taken along the lines 88 of FIG. 7 and illustrating the relative positions of the conductor holding jigs and the wire insertion tooling immediately prior to insertion of the conductors into the conductor receiving slots of the terminals.

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the positions of the parts after completion of the inserting operation. v

As shown in FIG. 1, a connector and conductor assembly in accordance with the invention comprises an electrical connector 4 and a plurality of conductors 2, 2'. The conductors extend towards the rearward side of the connector, are'connected to terminals 18 in the connector and which extend from these terminals as indicated at 2a and 2a. The connector 4 has two parallel rows of terminals as will be explained below and the conductors 2 extend to the tenninals in the upper row while the conductors 2' extend to the conductors in the lower row.

The connector 4 (FIGS. 3 and 4) comprises a housing 6 having a central body portion 7, a mating side 8, and a rearward side 10. Contact receiving cavities 12 extend leftwardly from the rearward side to the mating side and open onto the surfaces 14, 14' of a rib 13 which projects centrally from the body portion. As will be apparent from FIG. 4, the connector is symmetrical about its horizontal center line and the same reference numerals, differentiated by prime marks, are used for the corresponding structural elements on the upper and lower sides of this center line. In the interest of brevity, only the upper portion of the connector is described in detail.

A hood 16 projects forwardly from body portion 7 in surrounding relationship to the rib 13, this hood being adapted to surround a complementary connector part when mated therewith as fully described in the aboveidentified application Ser. No, l47,56 9.

The individual contact terminals 18 which are contained in the cavities 12 have a central shank portion 20, a contact arm of reduced width 22 which extends from the shank, and a pair of spaced apart plate sections 24, 26 on the rearward end of the shank. The plate sections are joined to each other at their upper ends by parallel straps 28 between which a conductor is moved into slots 30, 32 in the plate sections when the conductor is to be electrically connected to the terminal.

, A rib 34 projects from the rearward side of the housing and has a surface 36 on which the shank portions 20 of the terminals are supported. Vertically extending barrier plates'38 extend upwardly from the surface 36 and function to isolate the individual terminals each from the other. At their righthand ends, as viewed in FIG. 4, the dimensions of these barrier plates are such that their edges are beyond the plate sections 24, 26 and straps 28. The barriers are of reduced height adjacent to the body portion of the housing as shown at 40 and merge with a rearwardly facing surface 42 which extends normally of the surface 36. Surface 42 merges with a ledge 44 which is parallel to surface 36and this ledge in turn merges with another rearwardly facing surface 46 of the intermediate body portion 7 of the housing.

As shown in FIG. 4, the conductors 2, 2' extend towards the rib 34 and diverge adjacent to this rib, the conductors 2 extending upwardly as viewed, in FIG. 4 through the aligned slots of the plate sections of the terminals in the upper row thence to the surfaces 42, 46 and upwardly while the conductors 2' are similarly arranged with respect to the terminals in the lower row.

The conductors 2, 2 are held in the slots of the individual terminals 18 and are dressed or guided towards and away from the rearward side of the connector by means of a bipartite cover and clamping means 50, FIG. 2, the two parts of this cover being identical so that a description of one will suffice for both. The upper part in FIG. 2 comprises an elongated web 52 having a flange 54 depending from its rearward edge and a relatively short flange 56 depending from its forward edge which is adjacent to the surface 46 after installation. The external surface of the flange 58 is advantageously cylindrical: as shown inFIG. 4 so that it will confine and clamp the conductors against the surfaces 42, 46. Azcentral flange 60 is provided between the flanges 54, 56 and spaced from the flange 56 by a distance such that the barriers 38 will be received within the groove or channel 61 which is defined by the opposed sides of the two flanges. The dimensions of flanges 56, 60 are such that they serve to hold the conductors in the inner ends of the slots 30, 32 of the terminals and prevent any lateral movement of the conductors which might degrade the electrical connections of the conductors to the terminals.

An end flange 62 depends from the righthand end of the upper cover part and an integral latching strap 66, having a central opening 68, projects downwardly from the lower end of this flange. Another end flange 64 depends from the lefthand end of the web 52 and has a central recess on its outwardly facing side which is adapted to receive the latch strap 66' of the lower cover part, a locking boss 72 being provided in this recess for cooperation with the locking strap 66. When the parts, as viewed in FIG. 2, are moved towards each other, the straps 66, 66 will thus be flexed outwardly until the bosses enter the openings 68, 68. The opposed surfaces 74, 74 and 76, 76' of the end flanges 62, 64 bear against the sides 48 of the central rib 34 of a connector housing so that the cover is restrained against movement.

Both the housing and the cover member are advantageously formed of a plastic insulation material, the material for the cover being such that the latch straps 66, 66 are stiffly flexible to permit assembly of the cover parts to the connector.

After the conductors 2, 2 have been inserted into the slots of the Contact terminals in the manner described below, the cover 50 is assembled to the housing by positioning the two cover parts on the opposite sides of the rib 34 as shown in FIG. 2 and moving them towards each other until they are latched to each other. The flanges 54, 54 are spaced apart in the assembled cover member to define an opening 78 through which the incoming conductors 2, 2' extend. As previously noted, the conductors extend from the terminals and are firmly clamped against the surfaces 42, 46 so that tensile forces will not be mated to the electrical connections. If desired, an auxiliary clamping means may be provided on the rightwardly facing sides of the flanges 54,54 to firmly grip the incoming conductors 2, 2'.

A representative electrical harness, FIG. 5, which can be readily manufactured in accordance with the principles of the invention comprises electrical connectors 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E and conductors 2, 2 which have their ends electrically connected to the upper and lower rows of the terminals of the connector 4A in accordance with the teachings of the aboveidentified application Ser. No. 147,569. The conductors extend to 4B and intermediate portions thereof are connected to the terminals in this connector in accordance with the teaching of the instant invention. The conductors 2' then extend to the upper row of terminals in connector 4C and further conductors 2 extend from the lower row of terminals in the connector 4C. Conductors 2 and 2' are then connected intermediate their ends to connector 4D and from this connector they extend to the connector 4E at which they end. The harness shown in FIG. 5 can be readily produced by simply lacing the conductors through a plurality of insertion apparatus as described below which are mounted on a panel board at locations corresponding to the locations of the connectors in the harness.

The foregoing description relates entirely to a connector having individual wires connected to the terminals in the connector. The principles of the invention are applicable to other types of conductors, for example, the individual conductors of a ribbon-cable (a plurality of parallel spaced-apart round conductors contained in a web of insulation) can be separated by axially slitting the cable between adjacent conductors and inserting them into individual terminals as described above. The invention is also applicable to the formation of electrical connections to the flat-ribbon-like conductors in a flat conductor cable (a plurality of co-planar parallel ribbon-like conductors contained in a web of insulation).

FIGS. 69 show one form of apparatus for inserting each of the groups 2, 2 of conductors into the wirereceiving slots of the terminals in the connector 4. The tool shown in FIGS. 69'is of the general type as that disclosed in the previously identified application Ser. No. 147,578 but having several structural improvements which permit the installation of the connector on intermediate, rather than end portions, of the conductors.

The disclosed form of apparatus comprises a frame casting having a base 80 and a pair of integral spaced apart upstanding columns 82, 84. The column 84 is the taller of the two and is recessed on its forwardly facing side adjacent to provide a surface 88 against which the mating side of the connector housing 6 is positioned. This column 84 thus serves as a connector jig for holding the connector housing 6 in a predetermined position. The lower surface 48 of the rib.34 is located against a forwardly extending shoulder or ledge 90 so that the individual contact terminals, and particularly the wire receiving plate-like portions 24, 26 thereof, are precisely located and face in opposite directions laterally of the column 84. Steel plates 86, 86' are secured against the sides of the column and. support the sides of the connector.

A pair of wire positioning jigs 92, 92' are provided, one jig for each row of contact terminals in the connector. Since the jig and the wire holding means on the jig on the right hand side of the apparatus is substantially identical to the jig on the left hand side, only the jig on the righthand side will be described in detail and the same reference numerals, differentiated by prime marks, will be used for corresponding structural elements on each side of the column 84.

The jig 92 comprises an arm 94, the inner end of which is pivoted on a pin 96 which extends between the columns 82, 84. A central opening 98 (FIG. 8) extends along the axis of the arm 94 and wire locators or combs 100, 102 are secured to the arm on each sideof this central opening. The locator or comb 102, which is remote from the connector held on the column 84, is secured against the side of the arms by fasteners 104 and extends beyond the inner surface 105 of the arm as shown in FIG. 8. A plurality of spaced apart barriers 106 extend from the inwardly facing surface 107 of the body of the comb, the spacing between adjacent barriers being equal to the spacing between adjacent termiv nals in the connector. The surface 107 is inclined inwardly toward the opening 98 so that the individual which are curved as shown at 112 to provide clearance for the plate 86. The inclination of the surfaces 107,-

114 is such that wires extending through the combs extend transversely in front of an inserting means 132 described below and the wires are then guided by the surface 114 laterally away from a connector held on the column 84.

The outer end of the arm 94 has a latching block 116 secured thereto which has a recess 117 on its inwardly facing side and a leaf spring 118 on its outwardly facing side. The arm 94 hasa complementary block 116' secured to its outer end which has a projection 117 that is adapted to enter recess 117. It will be apparent from a comparison from FIGS. 6 and 7 that the arms can be swung inwardly until the spring 118 engages a shoulder 120 on the block 116 and when these arms are so swung to their closed positions, wires positioned in the combs will be in alignment with the slots of the individual terminals in a connector mounted in the connector ig.

In order to releasably hold or clamp the individual wires adjacent to the combs 100, 102 there is provided an apron or mounting plate 122 adjacent to the comb 102 which extends laterally away from the comb. Ears 123 are formed on the opposite sides of this plate and a coil spring 124 has its ends anchored in these ears. The individual wires can thus be dressed or led between adjacent coils of the spring and thereby lightly clamped when the adjacent portions of the wire are dressed through the combs 100, 102.

An apron 126 is secured to the opposed side of the arm 94 adjacent to the comb 100 and is bent so that it extends away from the arm and normally of the direction of movement of the arm between its opened position and closed positions. A conductor clamping spring 130 extends across apron 126 for clamping the emergent wires and a flange 128 is provided on the end of an apron to provide a surface for leading the wires away from the insertion zone.

The individual conductors are inserted into the slots of the individual terminals by wire inserting means mounted on a plate 132 which is dimensioned to move through the opening 98 in the arm 94. This plate is secured by suitable fasteners to an arm 134 which pivoted on the pin 96 and which has a handle 136 on its outer end to facilitate swinging of the arm to its closed position. As shown best in FIG. 8, the inner edge 138 of the plate 132, which is opposed to the wire receiving portions of the terminals, has an axially extending recess 140 and has a plurality of spaced apart wire insertion punches 142 centrally mounted in this recess. The dimensions of the free ends of these punches are such that they can enter the openings between the straps 28 of the terminals and assist in pushing the conductors down into the slots 30, 32. The width of the recess 40 is such that it is capable of receiving thee barriers 38 when the tool parts are in their closed position as is apparent from FIG. 9.

In use, the tool parts are opened, that is the arms 94, 94' and 134, 134' are swung to their outer positions as shown in FIG. 6. The wires are then positioned in the combs 100, 102 and in the clamping springs 124, 130. After all of the wires have been so located in the combs, the combs are first swung inwardly until they swung inwardly to move the inserting members 132, 132' through the positions shown in H6. 8 and to the positions shown in FIG. 9. During the final stages of such swinging movement of the arms, the individual conductors will be engaged by the edge portions 138, 138 and 139, 139' of the plate members and by the inserters 142, 142 and pushed laterally of their axes from the combs and into the conductor receiving slots of the terminals. Thereafter, it remains only to swing the arms back to their opened positions and remove the connector with the conductors attached thereto from the column 84.

The apparatus shown in F IG. 6-9 differs from the apparatus disclosed in the above-identified application Ser. No. 147,578 in that the conductors are not severed during insertion and in order to ensure that no damage to the wires will occur during insertion, the righthand sides of the mounting plates 132, 132' are spaced from the righthand sides as viewed in FIG. 8 of the opening 98. Additionally, the edges 146, 146 are recessed from the surfaces 46 of the connector so that these edges cannot function as shearing edges.

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:

l. A multi-contact electrical connector and a plurality of electrical conductors, said connector having a plurality of electrical contact terminals therein, said conductors being connected intermediate their ends to said contact terminals,

said connector comprising an insulating housing having a rearward side and a mating side,

said contact terminals extending through said housing from said rearward side to said mating side, each of said contact terminals having a plate-like conductor receiving portion, said plate-like portions being proximate said rearward side and standing free from and extending parallel to, said rearward side, each of said plate-like portionshaving a free end and having conductor-receiving slot means extending therein from said free end,

each of said conductors having an intermediate portion extending through said slot means of one of said plate-like portions thereby to electrically connect said conductors to said terminals, and

cover means removably secured to said rearward side, said cover means having an opening therein which is spaced from said rearward side and having internal groove means adjacent to said rearward side, said plate-like portions of said terminals extending into said internal groove means, thereby to maintain said conductors in said slot means, said cover means having edge portions which are proximate to, and spaced from, said rearward side,

said conductors extending through said opening to said platelike portions, through said slots, and between said rearward side and said edge portions of said cover means then from said connector.

2. A multi-contact electrical connector and a plurality of electrical conductors, said connector having a plurality of electrical contact terminals therein, said conductors being-connected intermediate their ends to said contact terminals,

8 said connector comprising an insulating housing having a rearward side and a mating side, a plurality of contact-receiving cavities extending through said housing from said rearward side to said mating side, said contact terminals being in said cavities, each of said terminals having a plate-like conductor receiving portion, each of said plate-like portions extending from, and standing free on, one surface portion ofrsaid rearward side and each of said plate-like portions being spaced from, and extending substantially parallel to, a second surface portion of said rearward side, said second surface portion extending normally of said one surface portion, said'platelike portions being in side-by-side coplanar relationship and forming a row, said plate-like portions having free ends and having conductorreceiving slots extending into said free ends towards said one surface portion,

cover means removably secured to said rearward side, said cover means having a central opening therein which is spaced from said plate-like portions of said terminals and having internal groove means adjacent to said one surface portion, said plate-like portions of said terminals being received in said groove means, said cover means having edge portions which are proximate to, and spaced from, said second surface portion,

said conductors extending through said central opening into said cover means, through said conductor receiving slots in said plate-like portions, then between said edge portions of said cover means and said second surface portion of said rearward side and then from said connector whereby,

said cover means maintains said conductors in said conductor-receiving slots and said conductors are clamped between said edge portions of said cover means and said second surface portion.

3. An electrical connector and a plurality of electrical conductors as set forth in claim 2, said cover means being bipartite and being assembled to said rearward side from opposite directions.

4. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 3, said connector having a second row of said plate like portions which is spaced from, and parallel to, said row, said plate-like portions in said second row being coplanar with said plate-like portions in said row and said plate-like portions in said second row being oppositely directed with respect to said plate-like portions in said row, said cover member having additional internal groove means and edge means for said second row of plate-like portions.

5. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 3, said connector having an additional row of plate-like portions which extends parallel to, and is coplanar with, said row, an additional one surface, an additional second surface, an additional groove means in said cover member, and an additional edge in said cover member, said additional surfaces, groove means, and edge being structurally related to said additional row of plate-like portions in the manner of the relationship of said surfaces, groove means, and edge to said row.

6. A multi-contact electrical connector and a plurality of electrical conductors, said connector having a plurality of electrical contact terminals therein, said conductors being connected intermediate their ends to said contact terminals,

said connector comprising an insulating housing having a rearward side and a mating side, said rearward side having a rearwardly extending rib, said rib having laterally oppositely facing surfaces,

said contact terminals being arranged in two parallel spaced-apart rows, said terminals extending through said housing from said rearward side to said forward side, each of said terminals having a conductor-receiving plate-like portion, said platelike portions in said two rows extending from said oppositely facing surfaces and being in side-by-side co-planar relationship, said plate-like portions being spaced from laterally extending surface portions of said rearward side which extend normally of said oppositely facing surfaces,

cover means removably secured to said rearward

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/398, 439/399
International ClassificationH01R24/00, H01R9/03, H01R43/01, H01R13/502, H01R4/24, H01R13/516, H01R13/58, H01R13/506
Cooperative ClassificationH01R43/01, H01R4/2462, H01R13/506
European ClassificationH01R4/24B6D, H01R43/01, H01R13/506