US 3870839 A
A printed circuit board connector with right-angle pins therein having drilled holes which are aligned with one leg of the pins internally of the body, removing a section of the pin and thus causing an electrical gap or open circuit. A set screw is threaded into each hole to close the circuit when screwed in to contact the severed end of the pin leg. When any one of the plurality of set screws is backed out a short distance, the screw side still contacts one of the pin legs but the screw end separates from the other pin leg to cause a pre-faulted open circuit to be diagnosed by service trainees. The same circuit board can be used to provide any of several faults by selecting which screw to loosen.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Almich et a1.
[ Mar. 11, 1975 TRAINING MODULE CONNECTOR  Inventors: Clarence L. Almich, Anaheim; Jack D. Polk, .lr., Whittier; Robert A. Aulick, Fullerton, all of Calif.
 Assignee: Northrop Corporation, Los Angeles,
 Filed: Apr. 20, 1973  Appl. No.: 353,079
200/16 B, 16 E, 16 A, 158, 163; 339/17 LC, 150 B, 151 B, 156
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 14,372 10/1917 Farmer 200/158 1,770,894 7/1930 Valerius.... 200/158 X 1,911,739 5/1933 Bangtson 200/158 X 2,142,731 1/1939 Leland 200/158 2,605,314 7/1952 Schelke..... 200/158 X 2,798,136 7/1957 Tarbox 200/158 2,864,977 12/1958 Witt et a1 339/17 LM X 3,184,830 5/1965 Lane et a1. 339/17 E X 3,227,820 1/1966 Sorenson 200/5 A 3,551,877 12/1970 Telmosse et a1. 339/156 R X 3,585,571 6/1971 Davis et a1. 339/272 A X 3,586,795 6/1971 Mentel et a1 200/16 A 3,813,642 5/1974 Fisher 200/16 A FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS 666,957 9/1964 Italy 200/16 A 539,485 4/1922 France ZOO/158 1,111,695 7/1961 Germany 200/163 223,337 9/1924 Great Britain 339/155 T 475,945 11/1937 Great Britain 200/158 Primary Examiner-Roy D. Frazier Assistant Examiner-Lawrence J. Staab Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wi1liam W. Rundle; Willard M. Graham  ABSTRACT A printed circuit board connector with right-angle pins therein having drilled holes which are aligned with one leg of the pins internally of the body, removing a section of the pin and thus causing an electrical gap or open circuit. A set screw is threaded into each hole to close the circuit when screwed in to contact the severed end of the pin leg. When any one of the plurality of set screws is backed out a short distance, the screw side still contacts one of the pin legs but the screw end separates from the other pin leg to cause a pre-faulted open circuit to be diagnosed by service trainees. The same circuit board can be used to provide any of several faults by selecting which screw to loosen.
3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures l TRAINING MODULE CONNECTOR The invention herein described was made in the course of Contract No. N00030-72D006 with United States Navy.
'l The present invention relates to electrical and electronic training devices, and more particularly, to an electrical connector for pre-faulted modules (PFM) containing an electrical fault for the purpose of training students in maintenance and repair procedures for electronic systems.
The conventional method of constructing or providing a pre-faulted module consists of replacing an operating component with a prepared faulted component on a printed circuit board which plugs into or removably connects with the remainder of the electronic system. Thus, only one fault may be provided per board, and this means that several pre-faulted boards need be prepared wherever it is desired to illustrate different faults, one-by-one, in the circuitry contained on one board.
It is an object of the present invention to provide means whereby any one of a large number of faults can be selected on a single pre-faulted circuit board.
Briefly, our invention comprises modifying an electrical connector to open-circuit the conductors internally of the connector, and providing adjustable electrical conducting means to re-establish each open circuit or gap, whereby a fault can be created by positioning any one of the adjustable conducting means to open a preselected circuit at a point within the aforesaid connector. Obviously, different ones of the connector pins or elements can be sooperated to provide many simulated faults with the same one module or assembly connected to'the connector. Since the open circuit is inside the connector, it cannot be detected by merely visually inspecting the connectors of a certain module or assembly of circuits.
This invention will be clearly understood as taught in the detailed description of specific apparatus to follow, and by reference to the accompanying illustrative drawings, wherein:
FlGfl is a side elevation view of a typical printed air .cuit board connector embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a top view of the connector of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a right end view of the connector of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross section view of the connector taken as indicated by broken line 4-4 in FIG. 1, showing a chosen open internal circuit and a portion of a circuit board attached to the connector.
FIG. is an isometric view of the connector of FIG. 1 cut away to show the modification of the present invention.
Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3, a circuit connector 1 illustrated comprises a plastic body 2 and two rows of ten connector pin elements 3 molded therein. At the bottom, the pins 3 project externally to plug into a mating receptacle (not shown). Internally, the pins make a 90 turn and project out the rear in two levels of solder pins 4 to be received into holes of a printed circuit board 5 (FIG. 4) and soldered to circuitry thereon. The circuit board 5 is a conventional type mounted vertically upward from the connector 1 and carrying the usual conductive line patterns and electronic components mounted on the board 5 in space 6 for example. The invention, however, is not restricted to its use with a printed circuit board as the attached unit or module to be pre-faulted.
The connector 1 may have indexing means holes 7 and positive attachment means holes 9 or 10 as usual, and a wide vertical recess 11 or channel in the rear to contain the lower end of the circuit board 5.
To provide the present invention, a row of ten access apertures 12 is drilled or otherwise provided in the front side of connector body 2 to intersect and coincide with each of the upper solder pins 4. Access apertures 12 are stopped about midway through the body 2, and aligned as they are with the solder pins 4, a length thereof is thus removed. Access apertures 12 are then screw-tapped and a conductive set screw 15 is installed recessed in each such hole.
FIGS. 4 and 5 show exactly the operation of this scheme. When a set screw 15 is screwed all the way in, it bridges the gap in the conductor pin and provides a complete circuit again. When the screw is backed out a short distance, the inner end backs away from the inner end of the solder pin 4 created by the drilled aperture and leaves a gap 16 causing an open circuit. When the system is then assembled and operated, this gap 16 results in a fault which the trainee must find by testing and from his knowledge of the circuitry. This of course simulates an open-circuited diode, transistor, or the like which is connected to this conductor on the printed circuit board.
In an alternate embodiment of this scheme, a continuous slot 17 may be cut in the body 2 as shown to sever all the solder pins 4 of the upper row, and the set screws 15 obviously establish the individual connections in the same way as described above. If the slot 17 is provided, the location of access apertures 12 need not be sufficiently accurate to remove the entire cross section of the pin horizontal portions; however, such accuracy is readily obtained and the extra step of forming the slot 17 is then not necessary. p For the particular style board connector 1 illustrated herein, the foregoing description enables modifying only ten of the twenty connector pins 3. The same concept can be applied to the other ten pins, however, such as by cutting off all (or any) of the bottom row of solder pins 4a from the rear of the connector 1, then drilling out a major portion of the internal horizontal portion of that pin, and finally threading another set screw like screws 15 into this drilled hole, letting the outer end of the screw extend to go through the printed circuit board, for example, and contact the circuit pattern thereon.
The pin elements 3 need not be solid as illustrated, but could be hollow material and still function with the present invention.
When the printed circuit board is fixed to the connector 1, it is not possible by visual inspection to see which of the circuits has been interrupted by backing out a screw a short distance. When such connector and board assembly is plugged into its receptacle in the associated equipment along with other side-by-side circuit boards, it is not possible to even detect the presence of the set screws 15.
The present apparatus may be modified in various ways while still retaining the same inventive concept. The screws may be replaced by other type conductive plug members such as will be movable to open" and closed positions, and may be situated in other positions relative to the respective conductor pins. Also, other types of connectors may be similarly treated.
Thus there has been provided a manner and means of modifying astandard printed circuit board connector, or of initially producing such a connector, to comprise a pre-faulted module in which more than one fault, indeed any of a large number of faults can be caused in a single .circuit board assembly, thereby reducing many-fold the number of required pre-faulted boards.
I While in order to comply with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, but that the means and construction herein disclosed comprise the preferred form of putting the invention into effect and the invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the appended claims. cm What is claimed is: v
1. A pre-faulted electrical circuit connector for use in a training device, comprising:
a. a connector body having a plurality of'plug-in contact pin elements therein; b. means forming a narrow elongated slot cut into said body from one surface thereof, said slot intersecting and cutting through a continuous number of said pin elements internally of said body to form an inoperative open circuit condition in each circuit normally connected by said intersected pins; 'c. means forming a plurality of apertures in said body equal to said number of intersected pins, each said aperturehaving an external opening in said body I different from where said slot is cut into said body surface and directed toward each of the respective said open circuits so as to communicate with both cut sides of the respective pin across said slot; and d. an adjustable conductive closure member positioned in each said aperture to selectively close or open the respective said open circuit condition.
.therethrough, the contact pin elements having a 90 turn in the body, the turn defining the junction of two leg portions of said pin elements; the improvement comprising: means for providing a pre-faulted module comprising means forming at least one aperture in the body, said aperture having an external opening and producing an inoperative internal open circuit in one of the pins, and an adjustable conductive closure member positioned in said aperture for selectively closing and opening said open circuit, said closure member'being recessed in said body aperture in both its closed and open cir'biii'iisditifi, said aperture intersecting said junction and being concentric with one of said leg portions.
3.1115 printed c ircuit boa rd connector Having a body and a plurality of plug-in contact pin elements passing therethrough, the contact pin elements having a 90 turn in the body; the improvement comprising: means for providing a pre-faulted module comprising means forming at least one aperture in the body, saidaperture sected leg portions.