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Publication numberUS3850497 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 26, 1974
Filing dateApr 2, 1973
Priority dateMar 8, 1972
Publication numberUS 3850497 A, US 3850497A, US-A-3850497, US3850497 A, US3850497A
InventorsKrumreich C, Mulbarger A, Walden S
Original AssigneeBell Telephone Labor Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector
US 3850497 A
Abstract
A dielectric enclosure having a plug receiving cavity, one wall of which includes a multiplicity of spaced orifices extending generally parallel to the depth of the cavity and a like multiplicity of grooves each of which extends from the front end of an individual orifice to the cavity. Each orifice accommodates a splicing member, the rear portion of which embraces an insulated conductor and the forward portion of which clamps the bared end of the conductor into engagement with the end of a wire spring contact. The other end of each insulated conductor is terminated by a cord tip, and the remainder of each wire spring contact comprises a first portion that is positioned within the associated groove and a second portion that extends rearwardly cantilever fashion within the plug receiving cavity.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Krumreich et a1.

[ Nov. 26, 1974 1 1 CONNECTOR [75] Inventors: Charles Louis Krumreich; Albert Eugene Mulbarger, .lr., both of Indianapolis; Stephen William Walden, Morral Township. Shelby County, all of Ind.

[73] Assignee: Bell Telephone Laboratories,

Incorporated, Murray Hill. NJ.

22 Filed: Apr. 2, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 346,724

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 232,804, March 8,

1972, abandoned.

[52] U.S. Cl..... 339/126 R, 339/176 M, 339/221 M,

339/276 T [51] Int. Cl. H0lr ll/08, H02b 1/02 [58] Field of Search 339/17 F, 17 L, 17 LM,

339/91, 119 R, 119 L,l25,l26, 128,107, 176 M, 176 MF, 176 MP, 208, 221, 223, 58, 276; 179/100; 248/27 {56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 2.439.947 4/1948 Pontius 339/223 3.001.171 9/1961 Schultz 339/176 MP X 3.074.044 H1963 Shaw et a1 339/176 MP 3.209.141 9/1965 Nieder-Westermann 339/126 R X 3.289.147 11/1966 Takeuchi et a1. 339/176 MP 3.317.887 5/1967 Henschen et a1. 339/256 R 3.320.574 5/1967 Tuchel 339/276 R X 3.369.214 2/1968 Krumreich et a1 339/105 3.430.188 2/1969 Leach 339/128 3,465,279 9/1969 Krehbiel 339/176 M X 3,558,831 1/1971 Prescott et a1 179/100 R 3,601,782 8/1971 Vlijmen ct a1. 339/176 MP X 3,617,982 11/1971 Hardesty 339/176 M X 3,634,879 l/l972 Longeneckcr ct a1. 339/221 M X 3,654,592 4/1972 Primorac 339/176 MP 3,699,498 10/1972 Hardcsly cl a1 339/221 M X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,478,385 3/1967 France 339/276 R 56,278 6/1967 Germany 1 339/223 R 218,595 12/1961 Austria 339/126 R Primary ExaminerRoy D. Frazier Assistant ExaminerLawrence .1. Staab Attorney, Agent, or Firml-l. L. Newman [57] ABSTRACT A dielectric enclosure having a plug receiving cavity, one wall of which includes a multiplicity of spaced orifices extending generally parallel to the depth of the cavity and a like multiplicity of grooves each of which extends from the front end of an individual orifice to the cavity. Each orifice accommodates a splicing member, the rear portion of which embraces an insulated conductor and the forward portion of which clamps the bared end of the conductor into engagement with the end of a wire spring contact. The other end of each insulated conductor is terminated by a cord tip, and the remainder of each wire spring contact comprises a first portion that is positioned within the associated groove and a second portion that extends rearwardly cantilever fashion within the plug receiving cavity.

12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures CONNECTOR CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of copending application, Ser. No. 232,804, filed Mar. 8, 1972, and now abandoned.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the field of electrical connectors and to subassemblies thereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The direction of electrical technology today is toward smaller and smaller components, and this is no less true with respect to electrical connectors than it is with respect to other discrete components. However, one major problem in this movement toward miniaturization of connectors is manufacturability. As connectors become smaller, they typically become more difficult and consequently more expensive to manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The connector of the present invention lends itself to miniaturization, but in addition, it is designed so that elements of the connector can be assembled by automated machinery.

An illustrative embodiment of the connector comprises a dielectric enclosure having a plug receiving cavity at the front end thereof. One of the walls that defines the cavity includes a multiplicity of orifices that are spaced both from one another and from the cavity and extend from the front to the rear of the enclosure. The front end of this wall also includes a multiplicity of grooves, each of which is exposed to the exterior of the enclosure and extends from an individual orifice to the plug receiving cavity. I

Each orifice accommodates a splicing member that is essentially the same size as the orifice. The rear portion of each splicing member embraces an insulated conductor while the forward portion clamps the bared end of the conductor into engagement with the end of a wire spring contact. The other end of each insulated conductor is terminated by a cord tip, and the remainder of each wire spring contact comprises a first portion that is positioned within the associated groove and a second portion that extends rearwardly cantilever fashion within the plug receiving cavity.

One method of assembling the connector is to cut off a preselected length of insulated conductor fed from a reel, and simultaneously strip the insulation from both ends. One'bared end is then placed in a strip fed cord tip, while the other bared end is placed in a strip fed splicing member concurrently with a reel fed length of wire spring contact. The cord tip is thereafter crimped to join it to the insulated conductor, and the splicing member is crimped to join the conductor to the wire spring contact, after which the contact is cut to length. A multiplicity of such contact assemblies are formed simultaneously, and the splicing member of each is inserted into one of the orifices with the wire spring contact extending out of the forward end. The assembly is completed by the wire spring contacts being formed to the desired configuration.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective showing the connector of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view showing one of the orifices of the-connector;

FIG. 3 is a similar view to FIG. 2 showing a contact assembly positioned within the orifice;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3 showing the manner in which the splicing member of the contact assembly connects the insulated conductor to the wire spring contact; and

FIG. 5 and 6 are exploded perspective views showing alternative embodiments of the connector of the invention, these embodiments being adapted to be secured in place between two adjacent holding walls.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing, a connector in accordance with the present invention comprises a dielectric enclosure 10 consisting of a base and a top 200. The base 100 includes a pair of side walls upstanding from a bottom 120, and the inside of each side wall has a ledge 112 that extends from the front of the wall to an inwardly extending flange 1 14 at the rear of the wall. The base 100 further includes a front wall 130 upstanding from the bottom and a rear wall 140 extending between the side walls 110 adjacent to the upper ends thereof. The front wall has a single notch formed in its upper surface while the rear wall has four parallel slots formed in its upper surface. Finally, the base 100 has hollow cylindrical bosses at the sides thereof for accommodating fasteners that secure the connector in place.

The top 200 of the enclosure 10 has a pair of recesses 210 formed in the underside 220 thereof, the recesses being of a size and space so as to accommodate the upper ends of the side walls 110 of the base 100. In ad dition, the top 200 has four staggered orifices 230 that are spaced both from one another and from the underside 220. As shown in FIG. 2, each orifice 230 extends from the front to the rear of the top 200 and includes a bore portion 232 at the forward end thereof and a counterbore portion 234 at the rear end thereof. Furthermore, the interior of the counterbore portion 234 includes a plurality of spaced axially extending ribs 235.

top 200 includes four parallel grooves 240, each of which extends from the front end of an individual orifice 230 to the underside 220. The entire length of each groove 240 is exposed to the exterior of the top 200 and the bottom surface of each groove is inclined rearwardly. The spacing between the grooves 240 is the same as the spacing between the slots 145 in the rear wall 140 in the base 100, and the location of the grooves with respect to the recesses 210 is the same as the location of the slots with respect to the side walls 110. Consequently, when the top 200 is placed on the base 100, the grooves 240 are in registration with the slots 14S.

Turning to FIG. 3 and 4, the connector further includes four contact assemblies 300, each of which comprises a wire spring contact 310 joined to an insulated lead wire 320 by a splicing member 330. The wire spring contact 310 is formed from a high tensile strength spring material such as spring temper phos- Referring now to both FIG. 1 and 2, the front of the phor bronze, while the splicing member 330 is formed from a relatively malleable material such as brass. The splicing member 330 comprises a U-shaped channel having a bottom and two side walls extending in generally the same direction from the bottom, and a first portion 332 at one end of the channel is smaller in crosssection than a second portion 334 at the other end. The larger portion 334 accommodates the insulated lead wire 320 while the smaller portion 332 accommodates the tail end of the wire spring contact 310 and the bared end 322 of the lead wire. The channel when crimped around these elements is formed into a sleeve that tightly grips the elements and prevents them from being displaced with respect to one another. The high pressure direct engagement of the bared end 332 of the lead wire 320 with the wire spring contact 310 provides a good electrical connection therebetween. The other end of the insulated lead wire 320 is terminated by a cord tip 340.

Referring also to FIG. 2, each splicing member 330 is accommodated by an individual orifice 230 in the top 200 by first inserting the unformed wire spring contact 310 through the orifice and then inserting the splicing members into the orifice. The crimping portion 332 of each splicing member 330 is slightly smaller than the bore 232 of each orifice 230, but the crimped portion 334 of each splicing member, while slightly smaller than the counter-bore 234, is slightly larger than the spacing between the tops of the ribs 235. Hence, there is an interference fit therebetween, and when each splicing member 330 is inserted into its associated orifice 230, the ribs 235 clamp it in place.

Once the splicing members 330 are secured within the orifice 230, each wire spring contact 310 is formed to provide a first portion 312 that is positioned within the associated groove 240, the groove being slightly wider than the diameter of the contact. In addition, each wire spring contact 310 is formed to provide a second portion 314 that extends rearwardly cantilever fashion beneath the underside 220 of the top 200, and the second portion is of a length so that when the top is positioned on the base 100 (FIG. 1), the free end of the contact is accommodated by the corresponding slot 145 in the rear wall 140 of the base. The slots 145 serve to maintain the second portions 314 of the contacts 310 in parallel alignment.

Referring again to FIG. 1,. the top 200 is advantageously joined to the base 100 by ultrasonic bonding, energy directors 212 being provided in the recesses 210 of the top to facilitate this operation. The enclosure thereby formed includes a plug receiving cavity that is bounded by the underside 220 at the top, the side walls 110 at the side, and the upper surfaces of the ledges 112 at the bottom. The notched front wall 130 serves as a catch for the latch of the plug accommodated by the opening, and the flanges 114 serve as stops for limiting the rearward motion of the plug.

An example of a plug adapted to mate with the connector of this invention is disclosed in the copending application Ser. No. 232,803, filed the same day as the present application, now US. Pat. No. 3,761,869. Furthermore, when the connector is mated with a plug of this type, the slotted rear wall 140 may be eliminated inasmuch as the plug itself serves to capture the portions 314 of the wire spring contacts 310 and locate them in registration with the contacts of the plug.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, it is seen that the enclosure of the connector of this invention may take many different shapes and rather than being formed by the joining of multiple parts it may be advantageously formed as a unitary member. Furthermore, rather than being secured in place by means of fasteners, the connector may be simply slipped into place and secured between the edges of two adjacent walls.

Thus, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 5 the enclosure 10 includes side walls that extend forward of the front wall 130, the forward ends of the side walls being inclined and having outwardly extending flanges 116'. In addition, the upper ends of the side walls 110' extend forward of the top 200 to provide ledges 118'.

The bottom 120' of the enclosure 10' includes a slot 122 that extends the entire width of the enclosure, and the rear wall of the slot comprises a cantilevered vane 124 that has a forwardly protruding foot 125' at the lower end and side extremities thereof. In addition, the bottom 120' includes a laterally extending tab 126' having a depending stud 128.

The connector shown in FIG. 5 is secured between a holding wall 410, which is inclined at the same angle as the forward ends of side walls 110', and a holding wall 420 having an upstanding portion 422 and a horizontal portion 424. The lower end of the holding wall 410 has an opening 412 formed therein, and the sides of the opening are spaced from one another the same distance as and having the same configuration as the external surfaces of the side walls 110' adjacent to the flanges 116'. The upstanding portion 422 of the holding wall 420 has a thickness that is slightly less than the width of the slot 122, while the horizontal portion 424 has a hole 425 therein that conforms to the shape of the stud 128'.

The connector is secured in place by positioning the enclosure 10' so that the slot 122 overlies the upstanding portion 422 of the holding wall 420 and the stud 128 overlies the hole 425 in the horizontal portion 424. The connector is then moved downward causing the foot 125' of the vane 124 to engage the edge of the upstanding portion 422. Continued downward movement of the connector results in the rearward deflection of the vane 124' and the insertion of the upstanding portion 422 into the slot 122'. This is followed by the insertion of the stud 128' into the hole 425 as the bottom 120' of the enclosure 10' moves into engagement with the horizontal portion 424.

The positioning of the stud 128 in the hole 425 serves to properly locate the connector with respect to the holding wall 420 while the deflected vane 124 acts to press the foot 125 against the upstanding wall portion 422 to provide frictional engagement therewith. With the connector in position, the holding wall 410 is moved downward to place the sides of the opening 412 astride the side walls 110' immediately behind the flanges 116' and to place the top of the opening in engagement with the ledges 118'.

Referring now to FIG. 6, in this embodiment the enclosure 10" includes side walls 110" that extend forward of the top 200" to provide ledges 118". In addition, the bottom 120 includes a slot 122" that extends the entire width of the enclosure 10 and has a tongue 123 positioned therein.

The connector is secured between holding walls 430 and 440. The holding wall 430 has an opening 432 in the lower end thereof of a size and shape to embrace the exterior of the side walls 110" at the forward end of the enclosure The holding wall 440 has an opening 442 in the upper end thereof that is of a size and shape to embrace the tongue 123", the wall having a thickness that is slightly less than the width of the slot 122".

The connector is secured in place by positioning the enclsoure 10 so that the slot 122" overlies the wall 440 and the tongue 123" is in alignment with the opening 442. The connector is then moved downward to place the tongue 123' into the opening 442 and to move the portion of the wall 440 immediately adjacent the opening into the slot 122". The wall 430 is thereafter moved downward to place the sides of the opening 432 astride the side walls 110" and the top of the opening in engagement with the ledges 118".

As can be surmised from FIGS. 5 and 6, the walls 410 and 430 respectively overlap the walls 420 and 440, and in the usual situation the walls are the sides of a pair of structures that are secured together to form an enclosure for electrical components, the connector serving to provide electrical connection to those components.

Although three embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be understood that these are only illustrative and that various modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope and spirit of this invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A connector comprising:

a dielectric enclosure including a plurality of spaced orifices that extend from the front to the rear of the enclosure, each orifice comprising a bore portion at the forward end thereof and a counter bore portion at the rear end thereof, the enclosure further including a plurality of grooves at the front end thereof, each groove being associated with an individual orifice and extending transversely to the longitudinal axis of that orifice, the grooves being exposed to the exterior of the enclosure; and

a plurality of contact assemblies, each of which comprises a spring contact, an insulated conductor, and a splicing member the rear portion of which embraces the insulated conductor and the forward portion of which clamps a bared end of the conductor to an end of the spring contact, the forward portion of each splicing member being accommodated in the bore portion of an individual orifice and the rear portion being accommodated in the counter bore portion of the orifice, the spring contact extending from the front end of the orifice and including a first portion positioned within the transverse groove associated with the orifice and a second portion extending rearwardly from the first portion.

2. A connector as in claim 1 wherein each spring contact comprises a wire spring contact formed of high tensile strength spring metal and the splicing member comprises a U-shaped channel formed of relatively malleable metal, the rear portion of the splicing member being crimped about the insulated conductor and as to form a high pressure direct electrical connection between the conductor and the wire spring contact.

3. A connector as in claim 1 wherein the enclosure further includes a plug receiving cavity open to the front of the enclosure, the second portion of the spring contacts extending rearwardly cantilever fashion within the cavity.

4. A connector as in claim 3 wherein the enclosure further includes a slotted wall at the rear of the plug receiving cavity, the free ends of the second portion of each spring contact being accommodated within an individual slot in the slotted wall.

5. A connector as in claim 4 wherein the enclosure comprises a base and a top, the top comprising one wall of the plug receiving cavity and including the orifices in which the contact assemblies are supported, and the base comprising walls defining the remainder of the plug receiving cavity and including the slotted wall.

6. A connector as in claim 5 wherein the base includes a pair of spaced side walls and the top includes a pair of recesses formed in the underside thereof adapted to accommodate the upper ends of the side walls.

7. A connector adapted to be held in place between the edges of a pair of adjacent holding walls, the edge of a first of the walls including an opening the periphery of which is shaped to embrace a portion of the connector, the connector comprising:

a dielectric enclosure having a plug receiving cavity open to the front of the enclosure, a first of the walls defining the plug receiving cavity including a plurality of orifices that extend from the front to the rear of the enclosure, the orifices being spaced both from one another and from the plug receiving cavity, the first wall further including a plurality of grooves at the front end thereof, each groove being associated with an individual orifice and extending transversely to the longitudinal axis of that orifice, the grooves extending to the plug receiving cavity and being exposed to the exterior of the enclosure, the exterior of the enclosure including a ledge engaged by the first holding wall and a slot for accommodating an edge of the second holding wall, the slot having a tongue located there within that is accommodated by a complementary opening in the edge of the second holding wall for locating the connector with respect to the second holding wall; and

a plurality of contact assemblies, each of which comprises a spring contact having a splicing member at one end, the splicing member of each contact assembly being accommodated by an individual orifice, the spring contact extending from the front end of the orifice and including a first portion positioned within the transverse groove associated with the orifice and a second portion extending rearwardly cantilever fashion within the plug receiving opening.

8. A connector adapted to be held in place between the edges of a pair of adjacent holding walls, the edges of a first of the walls including an opening the periphery of which is shaped to embrace a portion of the connector, the connector comprising:

a dielectric enclosure having a plug receiving cavity open to the front of the enclosure, a first of the walls defining the plug receiving cavity including a plurality of orifices that extend from the front to the rear of the enclosure, the orifices being spaced both from one another and from the plug receiving cavity, the first wall further including a plurality of grooves at the front end thereof, each groove being associated with an individual orifice and extending transversely to the longitudinal axis of that orifice, the grooves extending to the plug receiving cavity and being exposed to the exterior of the enclosure, the exterior of the enclosure including a ledge engaged by the first holding wall and a slot for accommodating an edge of the second holding wall, one of the surfaces defining the slot including a protrusion for providing frictional engagement with the second holding wall; and

a plurality of contact assemblies, each of which comprises a spring contact having a splicing member at one end, the splicing member of each contact assembly being accommodated by an individual orifice, the spring contact extending from the front end of the orifice and including a first portion positioned within the transverse groove associated with the orifice and a second portion extending rearwardly cantilever fashion within the plug receiving opening.

9. A slip-n connector adapted to be secured in place between the edges of a pair of adjacent holding walls, the edge of a first of the holding walls including a shaped opening, the connector comprising an enclosure having a plug receiving cavity that is open to the front of the enclosure and a plurality of contacts that are exposed to the interior of the cavity, the front end of the enclosure including external side surfaces that are spaced from one another the same distance as and have the same configuration as the sides of the opening in the first holding wall, the front end of the enclosure also including a ledge extending on each side of the plug receiving cavity for engagement by the first holding wall, the enclosure further including a slot for accommodating an edge of the second holding wall, the slot having a tongue located therewithin, the tongue being accommodated by a complementary opening in the edge of the second holding wall for locating the connector with respect to the second holding wall.

10. A slip-on connector adapted to be secured in place between the edges of a pair of adjacent holding walls, the edge of a first of the holding walls including a shaped opening, the connector comprising an enclosure having a plug receiving cavity that is open to the front of the enclosure and a plurality of contacts that are exposed to the interior of the cavity, the front end of the enclosure including external side surfaces that are spaced from one another the same distance as and have the same configuration as the sides of the opening in the first holding wall, the front end of the enclosure also including a ledge extending on each side of the plug receiving cavity for engagement by the first holding wall, the enclosure further including a slot for accommodating an edge of the second holding wall, the surfaces defining the slot including a protrusion for providing frictional engagement with the second holding wall.

11. A slip-on connector adapted to be secured in place between the edges of a pair of adjacent holding walls, the edge of a first of the holding walls including a shaped opening, the connector comprising an enclosure including external side surfaces that are spaced from one another the same distance as and have the same configuration as the sides of the opening in the first holding wall, the enclosure also including a ledge for engagement by the first holding wall and a slot for accommodating an edge of the second holding wall, the slot having a tongue located therewithin, the tongue being accommodated by a complementary opening in the edges of the second holding wall.

12. A slip-on connector adapted to be secured in place between the edges of a pair of adjacent holding walls, the edge of a first of the holding walls including a shaped opening, the connector comprising an enclosure including external side surfaces that are spaced from one another the same distance as and have the same configuration as the sides of the opening in the first holding wall, the enclosure also including a ledge for engagement by the first holding wall and a slot for accommodating an edge of the second holding wall, the surfaces defining the slot including a protrusion for providing frictional engagement with the second hold-

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/545, 439/660, 439/877
Cooperative ClassificationH01R23/025
European ClassificationH01R23/02B