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Publication numberUS3897130 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 29, 1975
Filing dateDec 3, 1973
Priority dateDec 3, 1973
Publication numberUS 3897130 A, US 3897130A, US-A-3897130, US3897130 A, US3897130A
InventorsAnthony John Damoisiaux, Robert William Donnelly, Raymond George Evans
Original AssigneeItt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flat cable connector
US 3897130 A
Abstract
A flat cable connector including a plug and a receptacle each having two parallel portions over which flat cables are wrapped. A slotted frame receives the parallel portions of the receptacle to retain the cable therein. The parallel portions of the plug are forced between the parallel portions of the receptacle extending beyond the frame so that the bared tracks of the flat cables on the two connector members frictionally engage each other. Hooked arms on the plug latch the plug to the receptacle. The plug may also carry spring members on spring contacts rather than a flat cable. Other forms of flat cable connectors are also disclosed.
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United States Patent .1191

Donnelly et al.

FLAT CABLE CONNECTOR Inventors: Robert William Donnelly; Anthony John Damoisiaux, both of Basingstoke; Raymond George Evans, Kingsclere near Newbury, all of England ITT Industries, Inc., New York, N.Y.

Filed: Dec. 3, 1973 Appl. No.: 421,256

Assignee:

U.S. Cl. 339/176 MF; 339/17 F; 339/91 R Int. Cl. H01R 13/54; HOSK 1/02 Field of Search 339/17, 19, 21, 59, 60, 339/61, 75, 91,103,107,l76, 192, 97, 99,174

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,365,694 1/19'68 Parker 339/17 F 3,638,164 1/1972 Glance et al. 3,753,207 8/1973 Maheux et a1 339/17 F Primary Examiner Roy D. Frazier Assistant Examiner-Terrell F. Lewis Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Thomas L. Peterson [57] ABSTRACT A flat cable connector including a plug and a receptacle each having two parallel portions over which flat cables are wrapped. A slotted frame receives the parallel portions of the receptacle to retain the cable therein. The parallel portions of the plug are forced between the parallel portions of the receptacle extending beyond the frame so that the bared tracks of the flat cables on the two connector members frictionally engage each other. Hooked arms on the plug latch the plug to the receptacle. The plug may also carry spring members on spring contacts rather than a flat cable. Other forms of flat cable connectors are also disclosed.

5 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUL 2 9 I975 SHEET SHEET PATENTEI] JUL 2 9 I975 PATENTED JUL 2 91975 SHEET PATENTEDJULZQIHYS 3, 897, 130

SHEET PATENTED JUL29 197s SHEET FLAT CABLE CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to electrical connectors and, more particularly, to connectors for use in automobile wiring systems, especially where flat cable wiring is employed.

In the past it has been difficult to make electrical connections to flat cable because of its characteristic shape. Further, prior art connectors for flat cable have been complicated and expensive. It is therefore the purpose of the present invention to provide an improved connector for flat cable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the principal aspect of the present invention, there is provided a flat cable connector including a plug and a receptacle each having two parallel portions over which flat cables are wrapped. A slotted frame receives the parallel portions of the receptable to retain the cable therein. The parallel portions of the plug are forced between the parallel portions of the receptacle extending beyond the frame so that the bared tracks of the cables on the two connector members frictionally engage each other. Hooked arms on the plug latch the plug to the receptacle. The plug may also carry spring members on spring contacts rather than a flat cable. Other forms of flat cable connectors are also disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGS. 1 and 2 show in perspective the receptacle and plug, respectively, of a connector for flat cable;

FIGS. 3 and 4 show in perspective another receptacle-plug combination for flat cable;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a plug connector member for connecting round wiring to flat cable, usable with the receptacles of FIG. 1 or FIG. 3;

FIGS. 6 and 7 show in perspective the parts of another receptacle element usable with the plug elements of FIGS. 2, 4 or 5;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a receptacle on a panel, usable with the plug elements of FIGS. 2, 4 or 5;

FIGS. 9 and 10 show two views in perspective, one exploded and one assembled, of a flat cable adaptor;

FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of a fiat cable-round cable adaptor;

FIG. 12 is an exploded, perspective view of another flat cable adaptor;

FIG. 13 shows in perspective a fuse-box employing other forms of adaptors;

FIG. 14 is an exploded perspective view of one of the adaptors shown in FIG. 13; and

FIG. 15 is a vertical sectional view of one of the adaptors shown in FIG. 13.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail, FIGS. land 2 show one embodiment of the connector of the inven- At the sides of the plug are two resilient, hooked arms 32 and 34.

The receptacle 36 illustrated in FIG. 1 also has two parallel portions 38 and 40 integral with a body portion 41 and about which flat cables 42 and 44, respectively, are wrapped, as shown. These parallel portions fit through parallel rectangular slots 46 and 48 in a separate frame 49. The frame is held in place by latches or tines 50 formed on the opposite sides of each of the portions 38 and 40. At the sides of the receptacle body 41 are two lugs 52 and 54. The hooked arms 32 and 34 fit into these lugs.

In use the two connector members 18 and 36 are mated, in which case the parallel portions 22 of the plug are forced between the portions 38 and 40 of the receptacle so that the flat cables, which have their conductors bared in these portions, engage. When this mating occurs the'hooked arms 32 and 34 are fitted into the lugs 52 and 54, respectively, to hold the members together. Note that the cables on the plug 18 can all be one single fiat cable wrapped around its two portions 22, or can be two portions of flat cable, one on each portion 22. Similarly, the cable on the receptacle 36 can be a single cable or two separate portions, one on each of the portions 38 and 40. conductive tracks on strips of the cables are based on the co-operating surfaces.

Referring now to the connector illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the receptacle 36' illustrated in FIG. 3 is identical to the receptacle 36 in FIG. 1 but is shown disassembled and with no cable. The member in FIG. 3 is fitted between the two parallel portions of the mating plug member 18' in FIG. 4 (like the member 26 in FIG. 2).

The receptacle 36' of FIG. 3 is used in a similar fashion to that of FIG. 1. In use, a flat cable is wrapped round the portions 38" and 40' with its end adjacent the face of the frame 49'. The conductive tracks of the cable are based on the inner-facing surfaces of the cables. The frame 49' is fitted over the portions 38' and 40 and moved against the body 41, thus retaining the cables in place.

The mating plug member 18' of FIG. 4 is similar to the plug member 18 of FIG. 2, except that it has a metal clip 62 of springy material. The clip is formed with upper and lower rowsof resilient fingers 64 (only one row being visible in FIG. 4) located in recesses 65 so as to engage the back of a cable track when the connector is assembled. The fingers 64 provide additional contact pressure for the tracks, in case this is needed. Such extra contact pressure could be useful where vibration is a serious problem or where the nature of the insulating material makes it necessary to enhance the Contact pressure.

The spring clip 62 could also be used as a shorting strip or a multiple ground connection, in which case some of the conductive tracks of the cable are based on the inner faces as well as on the outer faces.

Reference is now made to FIG. 5 which illustrates a plug member 18'', similar to plug members 18 and 18', but used for connecting round wires to flat cable. The member 18" has a box-like body 20 with hooked arms 32" and 34" for co-operating with a receptacle such as that of FIG. 1 or 3. The body portion 20" carries spaced metallic spring contacts 66 similar to the trackengaging fingers 64 of the clip 62 (FIG. 4). Each of these contacts is formed with an outwardly bowed contacting portion 66a and U-shaped terminal end 67 to each of which a round wire 68 can be secured, as by crimping or soldering. The contacts are disposed on the upper and lower sides of a bar 69 extending between side-walls 70 on the ring 20".

When the plug member 18" is plugged into a receptacle such as those already described, each of the contact portions 66a of the contacts engages one of the tracks on a flat cable mounted onto the receptacle.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 6 and 7 which show the component parts of another flat cable receptacle connector in accordance with the invention.

This receptacle includes a flat plate 72 with conductive tracks on it, with a slot 74 cut in it defining two leaf portions 76 and 78 bent slightly as shown. The material used for the plate is such that these leaf portions have a degree of resilience. There is also a frame 80 of insulating material with pins 82 at each corner for fitting into holes 84 in the plate 72.

In use a plug, such as the ones described hereinbefore, is pushed into the slot 74, bending the leaf portions 76 and 78 so that their resilience gives good -contact with tracks (or contacts) in the plug. The

hooked arms of the plug pass through slots 86 in plate 72 and aligned slots 88 in frame 80, and latch behind the frame of FIG. 6 to hold the various elements together.

FIG. 8 shows a receptacle connector member 90 fitted to an instrument panel 92 with printed wiring 94 connected (by soldering or the like) to conductive surfaces or tracks 96 inside the receptacle. This receptacle can receive any of the plug members described herein, and although not shown may have lugs to receive the hooked arms of the plugs.

FIGS. 9 and illustrate a flat cable adaptor 100 for attaching a section of flat cable 102 to a snap-on tab 104. The adaptor consists of a double-roll portion 106 of metal with an outer sheath 108 of an insulating material. In use the flat cable 104 and the tab 102 are forced into the adaptor together, the cable having had the conductive surface to be connected bared. The tab and flat cable are held in place by resilience of the rolled-over edges of the metal portion 106.

FIG. 11 shows a flat cable round cable adaptor generally designated 110. Here the flat cable 112 is retained in the same manner as in FIG. 12 below, the retention-spring therefor (not shown) being at the righthand end of the box-like member 114. There is also a retention pin in this device, just as in FIG. 12, below. The box 114 has a further retention spring 116 for holding an equipment tab 118 in place, and on its side there is a hingedly-mounted sleeve 120 of an insulating material. This sleeve is used to hold a tab crimp bucket when such is needed.

FIG. 12 shows a flat cable component adaptor generally designated 122. This adaptor has a retention spring 124, a bent-over portion 126 and a ledge portion 128 on a box-like member 130. A flat cable 132, me formed as shown to the right, is held in place by the portion 126, and is secured to the ledge portion 128 by a split pin 134 as can be seen in FIG. 12. Also shown is an instrument tab 136 which is inserted into the adaptor below the spring 124.

FIGS. 13-15 show a typical multi-component fusebox 140, with three flat cables 142 connected to it by adaptors 144, 146 and 148, and a further adaptor 150 about to be mated to a row of tabs 151 in the fuse box.

Note that each adaptor has one edge curved to accommodate a central shaft (not shown) entering the hole 152.

As seen in FIG. 14, each adaptor has a rectangular section channel 154 with a W-shaped spring 156 in it. Each flat cable 142 is pinned by a pair of pins 158 to one face of its adaptor the inner face as installed to the fuse box. As seen in FIG. 15, the ends of the cable tracks are bent over into the channels 154, which can each receive a tab 151 from the equipment unit, in this case the fuse box 140. As in the case of the other adaptors described above, the springs 156 provide retention and contact pressure.

What is claimed is:

1. An electrical plug connector member for a flat strip cable having conductive tracks comprising: a generally rectangular one-piece body of an electrically insulating material having a front face and a rear face with two elongated slots extending from said front face to said rear face, each slot being parallel to a first pair of parallel sides of the body, two parallel finger-like portions each having its base between said slots and each projecting forwardly from said front face of said body, said finger-like portions being parallel to said two slots, and two hooked arms one on each of the other two sides of said body and extending forwardly from said front face of said body, wherein in use flat cable is threaded through each of said slots and is wrapped around each of said finger-like portions with the tracks of the cable bared at least on the outside of each said finer-like portion, a retainer being placed between said finger-like portions to urge the cable against the inner faces of the finger-like portions, the resilience of the finger-like portions holding the cable in place, and wherein in use the finger-like portions are adapted to be forced between two generally parallel portions of a receptacle connector member with said hooked arms engaged in lugs on the receptacle.

2. A plug connector member as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of said finger-like portions has parallel recesses formed on its outer surface parallel to said arms, a spring member in each said recess, and each said spring member is a metal strip bowed outwardly so that when a flat cable is in place pressure is exerted on its tracks.

3. An electrical receptacle connector member for a flat strip cable having conductive tracks comprising: a first generally rectangular one-piece body of an electrically insulating material having a front face and a rear face with two elongated slots extending from said front face to said rear face, each slot being parallel to a first pair of parallel sides of said body, two parallel fingerlike portions each having its base between said slots and each projecting forwardly from said front face of said body, said finger-like portions being parallel to said two slots, outwardly-projecting tines on the narrow sides of said finger-like portions, a generally rectangular frame formed with two parallel slots each of which slidably receives one of said finger-like portions when a flat cable is mounted on it, and two lugs one on each of the other two sides of said body, wherein in use flat cable is threaded through said slots on said body and wrapped around each said finger-like portions, the ends of the flat cable then being adjacent to said front face of said body between said finger-like portions, the tracks on the cables being bared at least on the portions thereof on the inner faces of said finger-like portions,

An electrical connector for flat cable having conductive tracks comprising:

plug and receptacle connector members;

said plug connector member comprising a generally rectangular one-piece body of an electrically insulating material having a front face and a rear face with two elongated slots extending from said front face to said rear face, each slot being parallel to a first pair of parallel sides of the body, two parallel finger-like portions each having its base between said slots and each projecting forwardly from said front face of said body toward said receptacle connector member, said finger-like portions being parallel to said two slots, and two hooked arms one on each of the other two sides of said body and extending forwardly from said front face of said body toward said receptacle connector member, wherein in use flat cable is threaded through each of said slots and is wrapped around each of said finger-like portions with the tracks of the cable bared at least on the outside of each said finger-like portion, a retainer being placed between said finger-like portions to urge the cable against the inner faces of the finger-like portions, the resilience of the finger-like portions holding the cable in place;

said receptacle connector member comprising a generally rectangular one-piece body of an electrically insulating material having a front face and a rear face with two elongated slots extending from said front face to said rear face, each slot being parallel to a first pair of parallel sides of said body, two parallel finger-like portions each having its base between said slots and each projecting forwardly from said front face of said body toward said plug connector member, said finger-like portions being parallel to said two slots and being spaced apart slightly greater than the distance between the opposite facing surfaces of said plug connector member finger-like portions, outwardly-projecting tines on the narrow sides of said finger-like portions, a generally rectangular frame formed with two parallel slots each of which slidably receives one of said finger-like portions when a flat cable is mounted on it, and two lugs one on each of the other two sides of said body, wherein in use flat cable is threaded through said slots on said body and wrapped around each said finger-like portions, the ends of the flat cable then being adjacent to said front face of said body between said finger-like portions, the tracks on the cables being bared at least on the portions thereof on the inner faces of said finger-like portions, said frame being fitted over said two finger-like portions and urged against said body to hold said flat cables in place, said frame being held in place by said tines; and

d. said finger-like portions of said plug connector member are forced between said finger-like portions of said receptacle connector member with said hooked arms engaged in said lugs on said receptacle connector member.

5. A plug connector member as set forth in claim 2 wherein:

said recesses extend to said rear face of said body;

and

said spring members are integrally joined to a plate lying adjacent to said rear face of said body.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3149897 *Aug 29, 1961Sep 22, 1964Hans G MartineckPrinted cable connector
US3275968 *Jun 23, 1964Sep 27, 1966Amp IncConnector for a flexible flat cable
US3278887 *Mar 16, 1964Oct 11, 1966Westinghouse Electric CorpElectrical circuit assembly and method of manufacture
US3365694 *Jun 17, 1965Jan 23, 1968Gen Motors CorpConnector means
US3638164 *Apr 23, 1970Jan 25, 1972Ford Motor CoBisexual electrical connector
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4188086 *Jun 12, 1978Feb 12, 1980Bunker Ramo CorporationConnector for terminating flexible parallel conductors
US4211466 *Nov 21, 1978Jul 8, 1980Amp IncorporatedCrimped electrical connections for conductors on thin substrates
US4815990 *Apr 10, 1987Mar 28, 1989Rogers CorporationFlexible circuit having termination features and method of making the same
US5083939 *Nov 13, 1990Jan 28, 1992Labinal S.A.Male electrical contact member and complementary electrical connector shell
US5176676 *Apr 15, 1991Jan 5, 1993D. Swarovski & Co.Plug connector for a surface electrode
US5616050 *Jan 19, 1995Apr 1, 1997Ast Research Inc.Flexible circuit connector
US5954537 *Mar 6, 1998Sep 21, 1999Thomas & Betts International, Inc.Flexible flat cable and connector for connecting the same
US6000951 *Mar 18, 1997Dec 14, 1999Prince CorporationElectrical ribbon wire connectors
US6010358 *Jun 22, 1998Jan 4, 2000Molex IncorporatedElectrical connector for flat flexible circuitry
US6022242 *May 8, 1998Feb 8, 2000Thomas & Betts International, Inc.Connector used for flexible flat cable
US6183291 *May 19, 1998Feb 6, 2001The Whitaker CorporationElectrical connector assembly
US6299476 *Oct 4, 2000Oct 9, 2001Fci Usa, Inc.Electrical connector with a flexible circuit and rigidizer subassembly and a spring
US6464534 *Oct 4, 2000Oct 15, 2002Fci Usa, Inc.Flexible circuit assembly having a flexible circuit support connected to a flexible circuit
US6475027 *Jul 18, 2000Nov 5, 2002Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.Edge card connector adaptor for flexible circuitry
US6773288Apr 4, 2002Aug 10, 2004FciConnection system for flexible flat strip cables
US8840415 *Oct 5, 2011Sep 23, 2014Tyco Electronics CorporationPower cable connector
US20050095902 *Nov 1, 2004May 5, 2005Hongbo ZhangConnector assembly
US20130089997 *Oct 5, 2011Apr 11, 2013Tyco Electronics CorporationPower cable connector
DE102004008156A1 *Feb 12, 2004Aug 25, 2005Würth Elektronik GmbH & Co. KGPlugging connector for foil cable, has bed plate slot bordered on either side and corresponding to the width of foil cable conductor
EP0427615A1 *Nov 6, 1990May 15, 1991LabinalMale electrical contact element and corresponding electrical connector housing
EP1248321A1 *Apr 2, 2002Oct 9, 2002FciA connection system for flexible flat strip cables
EP2387111A1 *May 12, 2010Nov 16, 2011NexansMethod for electrically linking flat conductors with round conductors
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/496, 439/353, 439/786
International ClassificationH05K3/32, H05K1/02, H01R12/24
Cooperative ClassificationH01R12/78, H01R12/592
European ClassificationH01R12/78, H01R12/59C