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Publication numberUS3869191 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 4, 1975
Filing dateOct 11, 1973
Priority dateOct 11, 1973
Also published asCA1006242A1
Publication numberUS 3869191 A, US 3869191A, US-A-3869191, US3869191 A, US3869191A
InventorsTolnar Jr Emil J, Winyard Arthur H
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector means having shorting clip
US 3869191 A
Abstract
In a preferred form, this disclosure relates to an electrical connector means comprising a pair of mating connector assemblies and in which one of the connector assemblies has a shorting clip which is biased into engagement with its associated metal terminals to provide a short thereacross when the connector assemblies are disconnected and is automatically disengaged from its associated metal terminals when the mating connector assemblies are connected together. The shorting clip is in the form of a one-piece spring clip which is self-biased toward a position in which it engages its associated terminals so that a short across the terminals is automatically provided when the connector assemblies are disengaged from each other and the other connector assembly includes a cam means for lifting the spring biased shorting clip out of engagement with its associated terminals subsequent to the mating terminals of the connector assemblies engaging one another when the connector assemblies are connected together.
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United States Patent Tolnar, Jr. et al.

[4 21- Mar. 4, 1975 [75] Inventors: 'Emil .l. Tolnar, Jr., Warren; Arthur H. Winyard, Cortland, both of Ohio [73] Assignee: General Motor Corporation,

Primary Eraminer-Richard E. Moore Attorney, Agent, or FirmW. A. Schuetz 57 ABSTRACT In a preferred form, this disclosure relates to an electrical connector means comprising a pair of mating connector assemblies and in which one of the connector assemblies has a shorting clip which is biasedinto engagement with its associated metal terminals to .provide a short thereacross when the connector assemblies are disconnected and is automatically disengaged from its associated metal terminals when the mating connector assemblies are connected together. The shorting clip is in the form of a one-piece spring clip which is self-biased toward a position in which it engages its associated terminals so that a short across the terminals is automatically provided when the connector assemblies are disengaged from each other and the other connector assembly includes a cam means for lifting the spring biased shorting clip out of engagement with 'its associated terminals subsequent to the mating terminals of the connector assemblies engaging one another when the connector assemblies are con nected together.

3 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAR 41975 3.869.191

SHEET 1 [If CONNECTOR MEANS HAVING. SHORTING CLIP The presentinvention relates to an electrical connector means, and in particular to an electrical connector means comprising a pair of mating connector assemblies, and in which a shorting clip isautomatically disengaged from its associated metal terminals in one of the connector assemblies when the mating connector assemblies are connected together and automatically re-engages with its associated metal terminals when the the connector assemblies would be operatively connected to the charge and include a shorting means for bussing its associated terminals or leads when the connector assemblies are disconnected from each other. The other of the connector assemblies would be operatively connected with an electrical control means of circuitry and include a means for disengaging the shorting means from its associated terminals or leads when the connector assemblies are connected together or mated, For example, see U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,036,169; 3,275,765, and'3,49l,326.

The present invention provides a new and improved electrical connector means of the above noted general type. Although the electrical connector means of the present invention could be used in various applications wherein it is desired to automatically provide for a bus sing of terminals of a connector assembly connected to an electrically energizable device when the two mating connector assemblies are disconnected, it is particularly susceptible for use with an air cushion restraint system having a squib for igniting. a charge to burst a diaphragm for controlling communication between a pressure vessel and an inflatable bag and/or having electrical igniter means for ener'gizinggas generators lo'catedwithin the pressure vessel.

The novel connector means of the present invention, when used in an air cushion restraint system, has one connector assembly provided with a shorting means for bussing its associated terminals. This connector assembly is adapted to be electrically connected via conductors to the squib for the charge and/or the electrical energizing means for the gas generator or generators. The other connector assembly would be connected in circuit with the control means including sensor switches for actuating the restraint system when predetermined conditions are present. The provision of the shorting means for bussing the various terminals of its associated connector assembly enables the various components of the air cushion restraint system to be assembled in an automotive vehicle without any premature or accidental actuation of the system due to static electricity, RF interference etc. Also, when the matingconnector assemblies are connected together, the respective terminals in the connector assemblies are first engaged with each other prior to the other connector assembly disengaging the shorting means from its associated terminals of the one connector assembly.

Accordingly; an important object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved electrical connector means of the above noted type and in which the shorting means carried by one of the connector assemblies is in the form of a spring clip which is selfbiased toward a position in which it engages its associated terminals so as to automatically provide bussing across the terminals when the connector assemblies are disconnected and in which the other connector assembly includes cam means which engage the springbiased shorting clip to automatically disengage the shorting clip from its associated terminals subsequent to the mating terminals of the connector assemblies engaging each other.

A more specificobject of the present invention is to provide a new and improved electrical connector means comprisinga pair of mating connector assemblies each having an insulator housing and a plurality of spaced metal terminals therein which are adapted to mate with each other when the connector assemblies are connected together, and in which one of the connector assemblies includes a spring clip which cooperates with the insulator housing so that it is self-biased toward a position in which it.engages its associated metal terminals when the connector assemblies are disconnected to provide a short thereacross to prevent premature or accidental actuation of an electrically actuated means operatively connected with the terminals, and in which the other of the connector assemblies includes cam surfaces on its insulator housing which functions to move the spring clip in opposition to its self-biasing force to disengage it from its associated terminals subsequent to the mating terminals of the connector assemblies engaging one another.

Advantages of the novel electrical connector means of the present invention are that it is ofa relatively economical and simple construction, that the connector assemblies can be readily connected and that the connector assemblies are securely locked together when connected.

The present invention further resides in various novel constructions and arrangement of parts, and further objects, novel characteristics and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which it relates and from the following detailed description of the illustrated embodiments thereof made with reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification and in which similar reference numerals or characters are employed to designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, and in which:

FIG. 1 is an enlarged top plan'view of the novel electrical connector means of the present invention and showing the respective connector assemblies being disengaged from one another;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of one of the electrical connector assemblies shown in FIG. 1 and taken approximately along line 2-2 thereof;

' FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of one of the electri cal connector assemblies shown in FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows thereof'3-3;

FIG. 4 is an end elevational view of one ofthe electrical connector assemblies shown in FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows 4-4 thereof;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged top plan view of a shorting clip comprising part of the electrical connector means of 3 the present invention and showing the same after itis blanked from strip stock;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the shorting clip of FIG. and showing the same bent to its final free state configuration;

FIG. 7 is an end elevational view of the other connector assembly shown in FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrow 7- 7 thereof;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the connector assembly shown in FIG. 7 and taken approximately along line 8-8 thereof;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the connector assembly shown in FIG. 7 and taken approximately along line 9-9 thereof;

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of an electrical connector means of the present invention and showing the respective connector assemblies connected together;

5 jecting portion 34 of the housing includes laterally- FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the electrical connector means-shown in FIG.-10- and taken approximately along line 11-11 thereof;

FIG. 12 is a top plan view. of an alternative and preferred form of shorting clip for the novel electrical connector means of the present invention; and

FIG. 13 is a side elevation view of the shorting clip shown in FIG. 12 and showing the same located within its associated connectorhousing. I

The novel electrical connector means 10 of the present invention broadly comprises a pair of mating connector assemblies 12 and 14. The connector assembly 12 comprises a male insulator housing 16 which carries a plurality of spaced male blade terminals l8.therein.

The connector assembly 14 comprises a female insulator housing 20 for carrying a plurality of spaced female terminals 22 therein. The male connector assembly 12 also carries a shorting spring clip 24 which is self-biased toward a position in which it engages the respective maleterminals 18 to provide a short thereacross when the connector assemblies 12 and 14 are disconnected from one another and the female connector assembly 14 has cam means 26 which function to engage the spring clip 24 to disengage it from its respective male 7 terminals 18 subsequent to the female terminals 22 enportion 32 and a forward or projecting portion 34 of-a lesser height, as viewed in FIG. 2, than the main body portion 32. The insulator housing 16 also includes a pair of integral annular bushings 38 at its opposite sides which are provided with central through apertures 40. The apertures 40 in the bushings 38 enable the insulator housing 16 to be suitably mounted to a printed circuit board (not shown) via suitable fasteners (not shown) which extend through'the apertures 40 and are secured to the circuit board.

The male insulator housing 16 includes a plurality of spaced apart longitudinally extending throughcavities or openings 44 therethrough for receiving the male blade terminals 18. The adjacent cavities 44 are separated by housing wall portions 45 and the cavities 44 include a pair of aligned rectangularly shaped grooves 46 formed in the housing wall portions 45 on the opposite lateral sides of the cavities 44. The grooves 46 of each cavity 44 s'lidably receive a male blade terminal 18 along its opposite lateral sides. The forward or prospaced apart forwardly extending sections 48 integral at their rearward end with the wall portions 45 of the main housing portion 32. The sections 48 have aligned rectangularly shaped grooves 49-extending along their entire length and which are aligned with the grooves 46. The grooves 49 are of a lesser height than the grooves 46 and at their juncture, the grooves 46 and 49 define abutments 49a. The adjacent fingers 48 define a guide and support means for the male blade terminals 18 and with a portion of the male blade terminals 18 located between the sections 48 being exposed on their upper and lower sides.

The male blade terminals 18 could be of any suitable or conventional construction, but are preferably of the type shown and described in US. Pat. No. 3,555,496, issued Jan. 12, 1971, and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention, and to which resort may be had for a complete description of the terminals 18. Suffice it for present purposes to say that each male blade terminal 18 includes a forward portion 50 which is adapted to engage the female terminal 22, a more rigid intermediate wrapped portion 52 which is'thicker than the forward portion 50 and a rearward portion 54 which is adapted to'be secured or soldered to a contact ona printed circuit board (not shown). The terminals 18 are connected to the housing 16 by inserting the terminals '18 forward end first into the cavities from left to right, as viewed in FIG. 2. The opposite lateral sides of the terminals are received within the grooves 46 and 49 and the terminals 18 are inserted until the intermediate portion of the male blade terminal 52 abuts the abutment 49a in the connector housing 16. This prevents over insertion of the male blade terminals 18. Each male blade terminal 18 also includes a deflectable locking tang 58 adjacent itsintermediate portion 52 which is adapted to ride over and lock behind an inwardly extending abutment 60 on the connector housing 16 to lock the male blade terminal 18 in place within the connector housing 16 and to prevent any rearward movement thereof, and in a manner well known to those skilled in. the art.

The insulator housing 16 adjacent its upper side, as

viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2, is provided with a second cavity means 64 which receivesthe shorting spring clip 24. The cavity 64 is defined by a pair of side walls 66, a bottom wall 68 which also forms the top wall for the respective cavities 44, and a top side 70. The top side 70 includes a pair of top wall portions 72 integral with the side walls 66 and a generally U-shaped catch member 78 of the cooperable latching means 30. As further shown in FIG. 2, the cavity 64 is further defined by a rearward upwardly extending wall portion 79 at the rearward end of the housing 16.

As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the spring clip 24 is ofa one-piece construction and is made from a suitable resilient or deflectable spring metal material. The spring clip is initially stamped from sheet stock to the configuration shown in FIG. 5 by a suitable punch and die apparatus and is thereafter bent to the configuration shown in FIG. 6 by a suitable press and die apparatus. The shorting clip 24 has a transversely extending flat bridge portion 80, a first plurality of elongated spaced apart spring. fingers 82 integrally connected at their rearward ends withthe bridge portion 80, and a second-plurality of spaced spring fingers 84 which are shorter tha-nthe spring fingers 82 and which are integrally connected at one end with the bridge portion 80. As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 6, the spring fingers 82 are slightly tapered proceeding from their rearward end portion toward their forward free end portion 86 and are bent upwardly adjacent their forward end portion 86 to define linear ramp surfaces. The spring fingers 82 adjacent their forward end portion 86 include downwardly extending ears 88 which extend transversely of the spring fingers 82. The spring fingers 84 are bent so as to overlie the spring fingers 82 and define at their juncture with the bridge portion 80 and the spring fingers 82 a rounded bight portion 92. The maximum transverse distance between the spring fingers 82 and 84 when in their free state position is greater than the height of the cavity 64, as viewed in FIG. 2.

The shorting clip 24 is adapted to be connected to the insulator housing 16 by inserting the same bridge end first into the cavity 64 from right to left, as viewed generally rectangular shape complementary'with the male connector assembly 12 The female connector housing 20 has a main or rearward body portion 110, an intermediate body portion 112, and a forward end portion 114. The rearward portion 110 has a plurality of spaced cavities or longitudinally extending through openings 116 therethroug'h for receiving the female terminals 22. The cavities 116 include upper and lower aligned longitudinally extending recesses or grooves 116a and 116b formed in the top and bottom sides 117 and 118 of the housing 20 for receiving portions ofthe terminals, as will'be hereinafter more fully described. The individual cavities are separated by transversely extending wall portions 119.

in FIG. 2. As the clip 24 is inserted into the cavity 64, y

Y the fingers 84 engage a downwardly extending projection 100 integral with the top wall portions 72 and are deflected toward the fingers 82. The downwardly extending projection 100 has a tapered entry surface 100a to facilitate entry of the shorting clip into the cavity 64. When the fingers 84 clear the projecting portion 100, the self-biasing forces. of the spring clip 24 will cause the fingers 84 to spring back toward their normal free state position and engage the underside of the top portions 72 of the housing 16 behind the projections 100. This prevents movement of the spring clip 24 toward the right, as viewed in FIG. 2. Movement of the spring clip 24 toward the left is prevented as a result of i the engagement between the bridge portion 80 and a pair of abutments 93 integral with the U-shaped catch member 78 at its leftward end, as viewed in FIG. 1.

When the spring clip 24 is positioned within the cavity 64 of the housing 16, the fingers 82 are also deflected upwardly from their normal free state position due to the engagement between the depending ears 88 and the male blade terminal .18. The forwardly projecting portion 34 of the housing 16 is provided with transverse throughslots94 through which the ears 88 extend so as to enable them to engage the male blade terminals 18. From the foregoing, it should be apparent that the self-biasing forces of the spring clip 24 cause the ears 88 to be biased into engagement with the adjacent male blade terminals 18 such that a bussing or short across the male blade terminals 18 is established when the male connector assembly 12 is disconnected from the female connector assembly 14.

As noted hereinbefore, the male blade terminals 18 would be operatively connected witha squib for an explosively actuated diaphragm and/or electrical energizable means for a gas generator or generators of an air cushion restraint system. The provision of the shorting clip 24 enables these components to be assembled within an automotive vehicle during assembly while preventing any premature or accidental actuation of these components due to static electricity, RF interference, etc.

The female connector assembly 14 comprises the in- US. Pat. No. 3,310,772,'issued Mar. 2l, l967, and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention, and to which-resort'may be had for a complete and full description of the terminals 22. Suffice it for present purposes to say that each female terminal 22 has a rearward portion which includes a pair of spaced crimped flanges'l20 and 122 which are adapted to be crimped onto the bare end and the insulator portion of an electrical lead L. The female terminal 22 further includes an intermediate fiat vertically extending body portion 126. and a pair of fingers or tongues 128 extending perpendicular to the flat bottom portion 126. The fingers 128 have free end portions 129 which are reversely bent, as indicated at 130, and which are self-biased into engagement with each other. The male blade terminals 18 are adapted to be electrically connected to the female terminals 22 by inserting the forward portion of the male terminals 18 between the reversely bent finger portions 129 and with the portion 129 of the fingers 128 biasingly engaging the opposite sides of the male blade terminals 18.

The female terminals 22 are connected to the insulator housing 16 by inserting the same from right to left ward its normal free state position to lock behind the abutment 148 and thereafter the tang will abuttingly engage a transversely extending abutment in the housing 16.

The tangs 140, 142 and the'abutments 148, 150 lock the terminals 22 in place within the cavities 116 of the sulated connector housing 20 which is made from a I suitable dielectric material, such as plastic, and is of a housing 20. The intermediate portion 112 of the connector housing 20 defines a rectangularly shaped slot 154 which is in communication with the cavities 116 and which receives the fingers 128 of the female terminals 22. The rectangularly shaped slot 154 is of a size such that it slidably receives themain portion 34 of the male housing 16 and with the wall portions 119 of the housing 20 at their front ends forming abutment surfaces against which the forwardly extending sections 48 of the male housing 16 can abut.

The forwardly extending portion 114 of the connectorhousing 20 comprises forwardly extending bottom walls 114a and 1 1412 and a side wall 114C. The forwardlyextending end portion 114 serves as a slide and support means for guiding the male connector assembly into the female connector assembly 14.

The male and female connector assemblies 12 and- 14 I are adapted to be connected to each other by inserting the forward, end of the male connector assembly 12 terminals 22 and with the finger portions 129 biasingly engaging the male blade terminals 18. 1

Further insertion of the male connector assembly 12 into the female connector assembly 14, causes the forward end of the main portion 34 of the male housing 16 to be received within the slot 154 and causes the cam means 26 on the female housing 20 to engage the ramp portions 86 of the fingers 82 of the shorting clip 24 and cam the fingers 82 upwardly and out of engagement with the male blade terminals 18. The cam means 26 comprise linearly tapered cam surfaces located at the forward end of the upper side of the intermediate portion 112 of the female connector housing 16. The female connector housing 16 alsoinclude's a plurality of spaced apart longitudinally extending slots 157 exwardly extending ears 88 ofthe shorting clip as the cam surfaces 26 cam the shorting clip24out-of engagement with the maleblade terminals 18. From the foregoing, it should be apparent that when the connector assemblies-l2 and 14 are connected together, an electrical connection is established between the respective male terminals 18 ofthe male connector assembly '12 and the female terminals 22 of the female connector 14, prior to theinsulator housing 20 cam- -ming the spring fingers 82 of the shorting clip 24 out of engagement with its associated, male blade terminals 18-; I

. When the connector assemblies 12 and 14 are connected together, they'are adapted to be latched in place by the cooperable latching means 30. To this end, the

, male connector housing includes a pair of catch members 78 on its lower endupper sides. The catch members are of a U-shaped configuration and comprise a pair of legs 160 and'161 which are integral at their for-v ward ends with a bridge portion 162 and which are integral at their rearward ends with the insulator housing 16. The bridge portions 162 have tapered projections 163 at their side adjacent the housing 16. The catch members 78 define transversely extending openings 165 therethrough. The housing 16 is preferably made from a plastic material which is somewhatresilient so as to enable the catch members 7810 be deflected to and from the adjacent sides of the-insulator housing 16. The connector assembly 14 includes at its upper and lower sides rigid or substantially rigid transversely extending latch members 170. The latch members 170 are bevelled at their forward sides, as indicated by reference numeral 171. When the connector assemblies 14 and 16 are connected together, the latch member 170 will engage the catch members 78 along the projections 163 of the bridge portions 162 and cause the tending through its upper side for receiving the downcatch members 78 to be deflected outwardly from the adjacent sides of the connector housing 16. As the'two connector assemblies are connected together, the bridge portion 162 of the catch members 78 will clear the latch members 170, and due to the self-biasingforces of the catch members 78, will move toward the connector'housing 16 and latch behind the latch members 170. This securely retains the two connector housings 16 and 20 connected together.

The insulator housing 20 also includes a rear cover 200. The cover is of a generally curved configuration and is integrally connected with the top side of the connected in the connector housing 16, the cover 200 can be moved from its normal free state position, as shown in FIG. 8, in which it is disposed upwardly and out of the way from the rearward end of the housing 20 to a closed position, as shown in FIG. 9, in which it covers the rearward end of the connector housing 20. As the cover 200 is moved to its closed position, the catch members 204 will engage the bevelled headed ends 212 of the fingers 211 and cause the fingers 211 to be deflected toward each other until the catch members 204 clear the headed end 212 of the fingers 211 whereupon the fingers, due to their self-biasing forces, will move outwardly relatively to each other and into the opening 206 toward their normal free state position to latch behind the catch members 204. The cover 200 serves to orient the leads L in a given direction and also serves to substantially cover'the rearward portion of the connector housing 20.

It will of course be understood that the number of I ber of electrical components that are to be connected therewith. It is contemplated that by using multiple cavity connector housings l6 and 20 and variable numbers of terminals, the same electrical connector housings can be used in a wide range of air cushion restraint systems. That is, in some cases, as in the illustrated case in the drawings, various ones of the cavities would remain empty.

4 Various ones of the terminals 22 of the female connector assembly 14 would beconnec'ted to a power bodiment of a shorting spring clip 220 and insulator housing 222 which could. be used in place of the short ing clip 24 and insulator housing 16. The insulator housing 222 is identical to the insulator housing 16 except that a different cavity 224 is provided to receive the shorting clip 220. The cavity 224 is of-a lesser 9 height than the cavity 64 of the insulator housing 16 and has a pair of spaced posts 226 extending between its top and bottom sides 227 and 228 for retaining the clip 220 in place, and in a manner to be hereinafter more-fully described. The parts of the insulator housing end portions are bent upwardly to define ramp surfaces 236 and each have a transversely extending ear 238 which is adapted to be received through the slots 94 in the housing 16 and engage the upper side of the male blade terminals 18, as shown in FlG.-13. The fingers 232 and bridge portion 230 define an obtuse included angle therebetween when in their free state position. The bridge portion 230 at its rearward end has a pair of spaced apart slots 240 and barbed tangs 242 which define oneside of the slots 240. The bridge portion 230 is also rounded at its rearward end, as indicated by reference numeral 244, and has a pair of'spaced upwardly extending flanges 246 adjacent its forward end, I

The spring clip 220 is connected to the housing 222 by inserting the same rearward end first into the cavity 224 from right to left, as viewed in FIG. 13. To this end, a suitable tool engaging the flanges 246 can be used for inserting the clip 220 into the cavity 224. As the clip 220 is being inserted into the cavity the bridge portion 230 and fingers 232'will be deflected to increase the obtuse included angle therebetween, since the ears 238 are in engagement with the terminals .18, until the flanges 246 clearthe inwardly extending projection 100 on the housing 222 whereupon the self-biasing forces of the clip 220 cause the obtuse included angle between the. bridge portion 230 and fingers 232 to decrease and lock the flanges 246 behind the projection 100. In other words, the rearward portion of the fingers 232 and the forward end of the bridge portion 230 spring upwardly when the flanges 246 clear the projection 100 until the rearward portion of the fingers 232 engage the projectionl00. Also, the obtuse included angle between the fingers 232 and the bridge portion 230 when the clip 220 is connected to the housing 222 is greater than the obtuse included angle therebetween when in the free state position whereby the ears 238 are biased into engagement with the terminals 18.

The clip 220 is retained within the connector housing 222 by the barbed tangs which bite into the posts 226 on the housing 222 as the posts are received within the slots 240 when the clip 220 is connected to the housing 222. The shorting clip 220 is adapted to be disengaged from its associated terminals 18 in the same manner as previously described in connection with the shorting clip 24.

From the foregoing, it should be apparent that a novel electrical connector means having a spring shorting clip which is automatically operative to bridge the terminals of a connector assembly when the connector assemblies are disconnected and which is automatically cammed out of position when the connector assemblies are connected together has been provided. The structure of providing a spring clip in one of the connector assemblies and the simple cam means in the other conll) nector assembly makes the electrical connector means of a relative simple and economical construction.

Although the illustrated embodiment hereof has been described in great detail, it should be apparent that certain modifications, changes and adaptations may be made in the illustrated embodiment, and that it is in tended to cover all such modifications, changes and adaptations which come within the spirit of the present invention.

It is claimed:

1. An electrical connector means comprising: a first insulator housing having a plurality of firstspaced apart cavities therein, a first plurality of metal terminals housed in said first cavities and having exposed forward end portions, a second cavity in said first insulator housing, a spring clip housed within said second cavity, said spring clip having a bridge portion extending transversely of the cavity and a plurality of spaced resilient fingers extending transversely of the bridge portion and overlying the respective ones of the first terminals, said fingers each having a depending portion which is engaged with one of the first plurality of terminals to pro vide a shorting path between the first plurality of terminals, said spring clip when disposed in the second cavity being self-biased toward a position in which their depending portions engage the respective first plurality of terminals, a second insulator housing which is matable with the first insulator housing, said second insulator housing having a plurality of spaced cavities therein, a second plurality of metal terminals housed in said'cavities of said second insulator housing which are adapted 1 to mate with the first plurality of terminals in the first insulator housing, said second insulator housing having a cam means intermediate its ends, said insulator hous ings when being connected together first causing said first and second plurality of terminals to matingly engage each other and then causing said cam means on said second insulator housing to engage the spring fingers of the spring clip to move the spring fingers in opposition to their selfbiasing forces to disengage the spring clip from the first plurality of terminals.

2. An electrical connector means comprising: a first insulator housing having a plurality of first spaced apart cavities therein, a first plurality of metal terminals housed in said cavities and having exposed forward ends, said insulator housing having; a plurality of transverse through slots in communication with said cavities, a second cavity in said first insulator housing, a spring clip housed within said second cavity, said spring clip having a bridge portion extending transversely of the second cavity and a plurality ofspaced resilient fingers extending transversely of the bridge portion and overlying the first cavities in the first insulator housing, said fingers being bent to form a ramp surface adjacent their forward ends remote from the bridge portion and which forms an acute included angle with the adjacent insulator housing, said fingers each having a depending v portion which is adapted to extend through one ofthe slots in the first insulator housing to engage the respective first plurality of terminals rearwardly of their forward ends to provide a shorting path between the first plurality of terminals, said spring clip when disposed in v the second cavity being self-biased toward a position in which their depending portions engage the respective first plurality of terminals, said first terminals having their forward ends extending forwardly of the ramp surfaces of said fingers, a second insulator housing having a forward portion and a rearward portion, said forward portion having a longitudinally extending opening for receiving the first insulator housing and said rearward portion having a plurality of. spaced cavities therein in communication with said opening in the forward portion, a second'plurality of metal terminals housed in 1 said cavities of said rearward portion of said second insulator housing which are adapted to mate with the first plurality of terminals in the first insulator housing, said second insulator housing having a plurality of tapered cam surface intermediate its ends, said first insulator housing being connectable to the second insulator housing by inserting the first insulator housing into the opening of the forward portion of the second insulator housing, said insulator housings when being connected together first causing said first and second plurality of terminals to matingly engage each other and then causing said tapered cam surfaces on said second insulator housing to engage the ramp surfaces of the spring clip to move the spring fingers in opposition to their selfbiasing forces to disengage the spring clip from the first plurality of terminals.

3. An electrical connector means comprising: a first insulator housing having amain body portion and a projecting end portion of a lesser height than the main portion, said first insulator housing having a plurality of first spaced apart cavities therein, a first plurality of metal terminals housed in said first cavities and extending within the projecting end portion thereof, said insulator housing having a plurality of transverse through slots in communication with said first cavities, a second cavity in said first insulator housing, a spring clip housed within said second cavity, said spring clip having a bridge portion extending transversely of the cavity and a plurality of spaced resilient fingers extending transversely of the bridge portion and overlying the first cavities in the projecting end portion of the first insulator housing, said fingers being bent to form a ramp surface adjacent their forward ends remote from the bridge portion and which forms an acute included angle with the adjacent projecting end portion of the first insulator housing, said fingers each having a depending ear which is adapted to extend through one of the slots in the first insulator housing to engage the respective first plurality ofterminals to provide a shorting path between the first plurality of terminals, said spring clip when disposed in the second cavity being selfbiased toward a position in which their ear engages the respective first plurality of terminals, said first termi nals having forward ends which extend forwardly of the ramp surfaces of said fingers, a second insulator housing having a forward portion and a rearward portion, said forward portion having a longitudinally extending opening for receiving the projecting end portion of the first insulator housing and said rearward portion having a plurality of spaced cavities therein in communication with said opening in theiforward portion, a second plurality of metal terminals housed in said cavities of said rearward portion of said second insulator housing which are adapted to mate with the first plurality of terminals in the first insulator housing, said second insulator housing having a plurality of'tapered cam surfaces intermediate its ends, said first insulatorhousing being connectable to the second insulator housing by inserting the projecting portion of the first insulator housing into the opening of the forward portion of the second insulator housing, said insulator housingswhen being connected together first causing said first and second plurality of terminals to matingly engage each other and then causing said tapered cam surfaces on said second insulator housing to engage the ramp surfaces of the resilient fingers ofthe spring clip to move the spring fingers in opposition to their self-biasing forces to disengage the spring clip from the first plurality of terminals, and cooperable latching means on said first and second insulator housings for latching the housings to gether when connected.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/186, 439/660, 439/345, 439/188
International ClassificationH01R29/00, H01R13/64
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/64, H01R29/00
European ClassificationH01R29/00