|Publication number||US3865460 A|
|Publication date||Feb 11, 1975|
|Filing date||Apr 30, 1973|
|Priority date||Apr 30, 1973|
|Also published as||CA1003516A, CA1003516A1, DE2421056A1, DE2421056B2|
|Publication number||US 3865460 A, US 3865460A, US-A-3865460, US3865460 A, US3865460A|
|Inventors||Cherney Thomas M, Knudson John O|
|Original Assignee||Minnesota Mining & Mfg|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (16), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
[ Feb. 11, 1975 COMPONENT CONNECTOR Primary ExaminerJoseph l-l. McGlynn  Inventors: Thomas M. Cherney; John O.
Knudson, both of Minneapolis, Minn.
& t M e t S d S r. e d n a X k a .m F r 0 t. n e 0 At. m H ma 0L Ne AD  ABSTRACT A versatile connector including a first portion having wire receiving channels and a component receiving Minnesota Mining and Mfg. C0.,v
21 A L N :355 456 cavity, and a second portion including conductive 1 pp 0 contact elements. The first portion has adjacent spaced projections each having one of the wire receiv-  [1.5. CI. 339/98 ing channels extending across a surface thereof and  Int. H01! 9/08 being positioned adjacent a different end of the com-  Fleld 0f 339/95, 97-99 ponent receiving cavity The projections may be i serted in adjacent expanded loops of a twisted pair of wires so that each channel receives a length of a dif-  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS ferent wire of the pair. When the connector is closed eee .nhh tO -t mmfi e m WMa e t m s Su e n 0 r. O u n 8 C m e o HHC g ve n ah Cost W flea r. khe D a m s Stm 5 O .I e 3 mo I h m C 6mm 7 0 m a C a t t nfn OOe C C meaw 88 oo wanna 99 9 33933 339939 .33 .3 33 3 mm mmkm m neth muhrt u mm e| .en% LELEPW 582333 667777 999999 HHHHHH 86 23 700988 570784 ,35 .3 286883 0830 2 333333 PATENTEDFEB1 H915 3365.460
' sum 10F'2 COMPONENT CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a connector utilizing conductive contact elements having spaced wire engaging fingers adapted to make electrical connections between wires, and in one aspect to such a connector adapted to connect a component such as a resistor or a capacitor between wires.
There is often a requirement to connect a component such as a resistor, capacitor, or diode between wires of a circuit. Such connections are frequently made, for example between the wires of a twisted pair of wires to tune the interconnections between circuits on the back panels of a computer. Heretofore, such connections have typically been made by the tedious and time consuming method of stripping the wires, wrapping together the wires and component leads to be connected, applying solder to the joints, and covering the joints as with heat shrinkable tubing.
One computer manufacturer has proposed the use of connectors having conductive contact elements of the types disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,202,957 and 3,388,370 to connect a component between the wires of a twisted pair. The proposed connector, pictorially illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawing, includes a body of an insulating material having separable first and second body portions and 11 with surfaces 13 and 14 respectively having planar portions adapted for contact in a closed position of the body portions 10 and 11, and means including spaced cylindrical posts 15 on the second body portion 11 adapted to frictionally engage openings 16 in the first body portion 10 to guide the body portions 10 and 11 as the connector is closed and to maintain the body portions 10 and 11 in the closed position. The surfaces 13 and 14 are shaped to each provide portions of first and second spaced axially parallel wire receiving channels 18 and 19 extending between ends 21 of the connector, and an axially parallel stepped cylindrical cavity 22 between the channels 18 and 19 adapted to receive a component having lead wires projecting coaxially from its opposite ends. First and second planar conductive elements 26 and 27 are mounted in the first body portion 10 at opposite ends of the component cavity 22. Each contact element 26 has fingers 28 defining spaced wire accepting slots 29 therebetween adapted to make an electrical connection between wires forced into the slots 29. The contact elements 26 and 27 are positioned so that as the connector is closed the fingers 28 will enter openings 30 in the second body portion 11. The slots 29 of the contact elements 26 and 27 are aligned so that as the connector is closed the fingers 28 of the first contact element 26 will engage and connect a wire in the first channel 18 with the lead wire at one end of a component 23 in the cavity 22, while the other contact element 27 will engage and connect the lead wire at the opposite end of the component 23 and a wire in the second channel 19. Thus if both the wires inserted in the channels 18 and 19 are continuous, such as when lengths of both wires of a twisted pair 31 are inserted therein, a component 23 in the cavity 22 will be connected in parallel between the wires; whereas if the ends of separate wires are placed in the channels 18 and 19 the component 23 will be connected in series with the wires.
This prior art connector requires that a large loop be made in a twisted pair as the length of the wire section engaged in each of the channels 18 and 19 must be longer than the body of the component. If a component is to be connected in series along a wire, the wire must be severed, and the newly formed ends must be positioned respectively in the first and second channels 18 and 19 before the connector is closed.
1 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a convenient and vetsatile connector for connecting a component in parallel between or in series with a pair of wires. The connector is adapted to engage small adjacent loops formed in a twisted pair to connect a component in parallel between the wires thereof. Additionally, the connector provides means whereby the connector may be attached to a continuing wire, after which the wire may be conveniently severed to place a compound in series with its severed ends, thereby not requiring the workman to position two wire ends in the connector.
According to the present invention there is provided a connector of the type with a body of an insulating material having first and second portions with surfaces adapted for contact and members adapted for engagement to maintain the surfaces in contact with the .connector closed. The surface of the first portion is shaped to provide two wire accepting channels and a cavity adapted to receive an electrical component having axially extending contact wires at each end. Two spaced resilient contact elements each having fingers defining spaced wire accepting slots therebetween are mounted in the second portion and positioned to connect a component in the cavity across wires in the channels when the connector is closed, all as suggested in the prior art. In the improved connector according to the present invention however, the first portion has spaced projections extending from one side of the firstportion with each projection adjacent a different end of the wire receiving cavity and having one of the channels extending across the portion of said surface thereon. The projections are adapted for insertion into adjacent opened loops of a twisted pair of wires to position a continuing length of each wire in a different one of the channels and afford connecting a component in parallel between the wires by closing the connector. Alternatively a wire may be positioned along both of the channels, the connector closed, and the length of wire severed in the space between the projections to place the component in series with the severed ends of the wire.
Additionally, the contact elements in the connector according to the present invention are specially designed so that they may be very small while still providing a positive electrical connection with wires of a large range of sizes. The edges of the fingers at the inlet end of each slot define cutting edges of a predetermined length extending generally normally away from the slot. The edges are arcuate from the ends of the cutting edges opposite the slot to provide diverging convex edges. The fingers will be resiliently spread when a wire segment is forced between the arcuate edges and the cutting edges will notch the wire segment to a predetermined depth to sever any insulation on the wire, and engage the wire as the wire segment is forced into the slot.
This contact element design along with the body configuration allows the connector according to the present invention to be made very small, thereby facilitating its use in compact electronic gear.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Both the prior art and the present invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawing wherein like numbers refer to like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a suggested prior art component connector with its body portions separated and illustrated with a component and fragments of a twisted pair of wires to be connected by the connector;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a connector according to the present invention showing the body portions separated and illustrated with a component and a twisted pair of wires to be connected by the connector;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the first body portion of the connector illustrated in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 shows a section of the connector illustrated in FIG. 2 taken with the body portions separated and positioned one above the other; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged plan view of one of the contact elements in the connector illustrated in FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 2 through 5 there is illustrated a connector according to the present invention generally designated by the numeral 40. The connector 40 has a body of an electrically insulating material having separable first and second body portions 42 and 43 with surfaces 45 and 46 respectively. The surfaces 45 and 46 have planar portions in contact when the connector 40 is closed. The surface 45 defines a pair of wire receiving channels 48 and 49, and a portion of a component receiving cavity 50 defined between the portions 42 and 43 when the connector is closed. First and second conductive contact elements 51 and 52 each having spaced wire engaging fingers 53 are mounted in the second portion 43 in a position to connect a component 54in the cavity 50 across wires positioned within the channels 48 and 49 of the connector 40 when the connector is closed.
The wire receiving channels 48 and 49 are coaxial and respectively extend across spaced projections 55 and 56 extending from one side of the first body portion 42. Wires may be inserted in the channels 48 and 49 by inserting the projections 55 and 56 in adjacent expanded loops of a twisted pair of wires 57 whereupon each channel 48 or 49 receives a length of a different wire of the twisted pair 57. As the portions 42 and 43 of the connector are closed the contact elements 51 and 52 will connect the component 54 in the cavity 50 in parallel across the wires of the twisted pair 57. Alternatively, a wire may be inserted in the connector to extend across both of the wire receiving channels 48 and 49, the portions 42 and 43 of the connector 40 closed to engage the contact elements 51 and 52, and the wire severed in the opening between the projections 55 and 56 to place the component in the cavity 50 in series with the severed wire ends. Such severing of the wire is facilitated by an opening 60 in the second body portion 43 aligned with the opening between the projections 55 and 56 when the connector is closed.
The wire receiving channels 48 and 49 respectively extend from opposite ends 61 of the first body portion 42 to the opening between the projections 55 and 56. The cavity 50 is axially parallel to the channels 48 and 49 and has a large cylindrical central portion adapted to receive the body of a component, and smaller coaxial portions formed in and extending to the ends 61 of the first body portion 42 from the central portion to receive wire leads projecting coaxially from opposite ends of a component.
The portions of the cavity 50 adapted to receive the wire leads of a component each extend through the ends 61 of the first body portion 42, so that the connector 40 may be used to splice wires. Separate lengths of wires may be positioned end to end in the cavity 50 or a length of a continuing wire may be positioned through the cavity 50 and be interconnected with a wire or wires in the channels 48 and 49 via the contact elements 51 and 52.
Each end of the cavity 50 is adjacent one of the wire receiving channels 48 or 49 on the projections 55 and 56. The two contact elements 51 and 52 are mounted in the second body portion 43 in parallel spaced relationship at opposite ends of the portion of the component cavity 50 formed therein. As the connector is closed the fingers 53 of each of the contact elements 51 and 52 will move transverse of the portion of the intersected first or second channel 48 or 49 and cavity 50 in the first body portion 42 and into a clearance opening 62 therein with slots 63 between the fingers 53 of the contact element 51 aligned to make connection between a wire in the first channel 48 and the lead wire at the adjacent end of a component in the cavity 50, while the slots 63 between the fingers 53 of the contact element 52 are aligned to make contact between a lead wire at the opposite end of the component in the cavity and a wire in the adjacent second channel 49.
The second body portion 43 has spaced tapered posts 65 projecting at right angles from the surface 46 and adapted to slidably enter openings 66 in the first body portion 42 to provide means for guiding the contact elements 51 and 52 during closing of the connector. The posts 65 frictionally engage the openings 66 as the body portions 42 and 43 reach the closed position to maintain the body portions 42 and 43 in the closed position.
The closed elements 51 and 52, best seen in FIG. 5, are conductive resilient metal plate-like members including the spaced fingers 53. On each contact element 51 and 52 the fingers 53 define two wire accepting slots 63 therebetween each adapted for forceful entry of a wire segment to form a positive electrical connection with the wire, and a central relief slot 67 to afford proper deflection of the inner two fingers 53 upon engagement of the wire segment. Each slot 63 includes an inner portion having parallel edges 68 for making a positive electrical connection with a wire. The edges of the fingers 53 at the inlet end of each slot 63 define cutting edges 69 of a predetermined length extending generally normally away from the parallel edges 68. From the ends of the cutting edges 69 opposite the parallel edges 68 the edges of the fingers 53 are arcuate to provide diverging convex edges 71. The fingers 53 will be resiliently spread when a wire segment is forced between the convex edges 71, and the cutting edges 69 will notch the wire segments to a predetermined depth to sever any insulation on the wire and engage the wire as a wire segment is forced into the slot 63. As the resilient fingers 53 are forced apart, they thus apply continual pressure against the conductor to maintain a positive electrical connection.
The connector also includes means for retaining wire ends in the channels 48 and 49 and components in the cavity 50 prior to closing the connector 40. The walls of the first body portion 42 defining the channels 48 and 49 and portions of the cavity 50 for receiving lead wires each include a series of three spaced rounded protrusions 73 which define a generally U-shaped path for a length of a wire therein. When the wire is pressed between the protrusions 73 it becomes bent slightly to fit around the protrusions 73, and has sufficient resilience to be frictionally retained therebetween. Alternatively wire ends could be temporarily retained in the cavity 50 and channels 48 and 49 by coating their walls with a layer of contact adhesive.
Also, a groove 76 is formed along the surface of each of the projections 55 and 56 opposite the channels 48 and 49. After the projections 55 and 56 have been inserted in opened adjacent loops of a twisted pair, the portions of the twisted pair adjacent the ends 61 of the connector may be pulled away from each other to seat the wires of the pair in the grooves 76 and channels 48 and 49. The first body portion 42 will then be supported by the twisted pair, leaving the workmans hands free to position the second body portion 43 and close the connector 40.
A groove 78 is also formed along the surface of the first body portion 42 opposite the cavity 50. The groove 78 is adapted to receive one wire of a second twisted pair when a wire thereof is positioned across the cavity and around the ends 61 of the connector 40 to splice wires with the connector 40 in the manner suggested above.
The connector also includes means for relieving bending strain at the segment of the wires engaged by the contact elements 51 and 52. The second body portion 43 of the connector 40 is formed with spaced pillars 80 flanking each side of the contact elements 51 and 52, and positioned to enter openings 81 in the first body portion 42 as the connector 40 is closed. The pillars 80 have diverging end portions leading slots 83 therebetween aligned with the slots 63 in the contact elements 51 and 52 and sized and positioned to intersect the channels 48 and 49 and the cavity 50 to receive wires therein. The adjacent edges of the pillars 80 frictionally engage the wires and provide a strain relief to restrict relative movement of the wires at the contact elements 51 and 52, thereby restricting wire breakage.
Other desirable features of the connector 40 include openings 85 in the second body portion 43 through which access may be had to the contact elements 51 and 52 in the closed connector 40 via a probe as may be desirable to test voltage, etc. Also, the edges of the body portions 42 and 43 adjacent the cavity 50 are spaced from each other when the connector 40 is closed to provide a window 87 into the component cavity 50 to afford visual inspection of the color coding on a component.
Although this invention is subject to variation without departure from the spirit thereof it is believed that the following specific example, adapted for connections with wires of from No. 22 AWG to No. 30 AWG will facilitate understanding: The body portions 42 and 43 are molded of an electrically insulating material such as a polycarbonate. The material is preferably flame retardant so the connector 40 can serve as a fire restricting enclosure for a flammable component. The connector 40 overall (when closed) is about 0.82 inch long, 0.26 inch thick in a direction normal to the surfaces 45 and 46 and 0.25 inch wide (including the projections 55 and 56). Each of the projections 55 and 56 is about 0.32 inch long, projects about 0.1 inch toward the side of the connector 40, and is about 0.14 inch thick in a direction normal to the surface 45. The channels 48 and 49 and wire receiving portions of the cavity 50 have a maximum width of about 0.04 inch and a depth of 0.03 inch, with .the protrusions 73 extending in about 0.014 inch and being spaced about 0.055 inch apart. The central portion of the cavity 50 has a 0.056 inch radius and is 0.32 inch long. The slots 83 between the pillars are about 0.013 inch wide, with each pillar 80 being about 0.02 inch thick.
Each of the contact elements 51 or 52 is pressed into a socket in the second body portion 43 so that outwardly projecting barbs 90 on the end thereof opposite the fingers 53 (FIG. 5) will engage the walls of the socket. Each of the contact elements 51 or 52 is formed of 0.01 inch thick tin plated tempered phosphor bronze. The fingers are 0.034 inch wide adjacent the parallel edges 68, which edges 68 are 0.093 inch long. The cutting edges 69 are about 0.006 inch long, each being disposed at an included angle of about with the adjoining parallel edge 68. This included angle is preferably in the range of 90 to so that each cutting edge 69 is generally normal to the adjoining parallel edge 68. Each of the convex edges 71 (which provide cam means for spreading the fingers 53 when a section of wire is forced therebetween) has a radius of about 0.029 inch and is disposed with the center of the radius on a line through the points of intersection for the convex and cutting edges 71 and 69. The points of the fingers 53 are spaced about 0.05 inch apart.
1. In a connector of the type comprising first and second body portions each having opposite end surfaces, opposite side surfaces, a mating surface, and an outer surface opposite said mating surface; and means for positioning and retaining the body portion in a closed position with said mating surfaces in contact, said first body portion having two channels in its mating surface each adapted to receive a wire, and said body portions having depressions in said mating surfaces defining, when said body portions are in their closed position, a cavity adapted to receive an electrical component having a contact wire extending from each of its ends, said connector further comprising two resilient contact members each mounted in said second body portion and having fingers defining spaced wire receiving slots therebetween, one contact element having fingers extending across one of said channels and one end of said cavity and the other contact element having fingers extending across the other of said channels and the other end of said cavity when said body portions are in said closed position so that said contact elements will electrically connect a component in said cavity to wires in said channels; the improvement, wherein:
the first body portion has two spaced projections defining one side surface and has an opening between said projections along said one side surface between said mating surface and said outer surface, one end of the component receiving cavity is adjacent one of said projections and the other end of the component receiving cavity is adjacent the other of said projections, and one of said channels extends across one of said projections from one of said end surfaces to said opening and the other of said channels extends across the other of said projections from the other of said end surfaces to said opening.
2. A connector according to claim 1 wherein the fingers of said contact elements are spaced to provide said slots between adjacent generally parallel edges thereof, and the edges of said fingers at the inlet end of each slot diverge generally normally away from said parallel edges to define cutting edges of a predetermined length and are arcuate from the ends of the cutting edges opposite the parallel edges to provide diverging convex edges, said fingers being adapted to be resiliently spread by a wire segment forced between said arcuate edges to cause said cutting edges to cut said wire segment to a predetermined depth and sever any insulation thereon, and to cause the parallel edges to resiliently engage said wire as said wire segment is forced into said slot.
3. A connector according to claim 2, wherein the included angle between each cutting edge and the adjoining parallel edge is about 120.
4. A connector according to claim 1, wherein one of said body portions includes retaining means for retaining wires in said channels and retaining a component in said cavity prior to moving said body portions to their closed position.
5. A connector according to claim 4, wherein said retaining means includes sets of three spaced protrusions extending alternately from opposite sides into each of said channels and the portions of said cavity for accepting contact wires with the ends of the protrusions spaced in a direction normal to the centerline of the channel or cavity at a distance less than the diameter of a wire the connector is adapted to engage.
6. A connector according to claim 1, wherein said component cavity communicates between the end surfaces of said connector to afford electrically interconnecting a wire extending through said component cavity with wires in said channels.
7. A connector according to claim 1, wherein each of said projections has a groove in said outer surface parallel to the channel across said projection.
UNITED S'iATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, 5, 60 Dated February 975 Inventor) Thomas M. Cherney and John O. Knudson It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2,' line 17, change "compound'fto component Column line 41, change "closed" to contact 1 e: l? 1. A" z 1 3-3mm. and cEculEC th s lutfl of Apr. L75.
=3. DAZIEZ 3. ILLZUN Commissioner of Patents .ttt'astlnrv 3.1751032: Trademarks FORM PC4050 (10-69) USCOMM-DC wan-Pen e u s sovuuuuv rnmrmc omc: vnl o-un-su.
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|International Classification||H01R13/66, H01R9/053, H01R9/05, H05K7/02, H01R4/24|
|Cooperative Classification||H01R4/2433, H01R9/053, H01R13/6608|
|European Classification||H01R4/24B3C1B, H01R9/053|