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Publication numberUS3924915 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 9, 1975
Filing dateJun 14, 1973
Priority dateNov 26, 1971
Also published asCA985387A1, DE2234960A1, DE2234960B2, DE2234960C3
Publication numberUS 3924915 A, US 3924915A, US-A-3924915, US3924915 A, US3924915A
InventorsRichard A Conrad
Original AssigneeTeledyne Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connector
US 3924915 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Conrad Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 202,526, Nov. 26,

1971, abandoned.

[52] US. Cl. 339/17 F; 317/101; 339/61;

339/176 MF [51] Int. Cl. H01R 11/02; HOSK 1/02 [58] Field of Search 339/17-19,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,881,404 4/1959 Karnm 339/17 F 2,971,177 2/1961 Linhart 339/59 M X 3,079,579 2/1963 Crimmins et al 339/17 F X 3,082,398 3/1963 Valach 339/176 MF 3,173,732 3/1965 James 339/17 LM 3,202,955 8/1965 McKee 339/59 M 3,509,296 4/1970 I-larshman et a1 339/89 R 3,562,798 2/1971 Bragg, Jr. 339/17 F 3,638,164 1/1972 Glance et a1 339/49 R 3,753,207 8/1973 Maheux et al 339/17 F FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 700,490 12/1953 United Kingdom 339/17 F [4 1 Dec. 9, 1975 OTHER PUBLICATIONS IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 10, p. 873, 03-1965, Spring Pad for Etched-Circuit Electrical Connector, Essen.

IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. l, p. 113, 06-1964, Heat Conducting Vibration and Shock Mount, Panaro.

Primary ExaminerRoy D. Frazier Assistant ExaminerTerrell P. Lewis Attorney, Agent, or FirmRonald W. Reagin [57] ABSTRACT An electrical connector is disclosed which includes a body member having a first surface adapted to be secured adjacent the series of electrical conductors. A sheet of insulative material is provided which has a front surface and a back surface. A plurality of electrically conductive contact members are provided which are secured to and exposed from the front surface of the sheet of insulative material, and the back surface of the sheet of insulative material is secured to the first surface of the body member. Resilient means are provided to urge the sheet of insulative material away from the front surface of the body member into contact with the series of electrical conductors.

2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 9, 1975 Sheet 1 of2 3,924,915

"K g f Z l m l 4444 44 444444 4 Patent Dec. 9, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,924,915

ZHigA ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR This is a continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 202,526, filed Nov. 26, 1971, now abandoned.

This invention relates to electrical connectors, and more particularly to an improved connector for making electrical connections between two printed circuit boards or the like in which the contact elements can be easily and cheaply manufactured with high density and close spacing.

There is a type of printed circuit connector well known to those skilled in the art which consists essentially of an elongated body of insulative material which usually has a square or rectangular cross-section. The body includes a plurality of circumferential grooves usually extending all the way around the body. A plurality of resilient electrically conductive contact members are provided, with each contact member being positioned around the body of the connector in a respective one of the aforementioned grooves. Each contact member is bent so that some portions of it normally project out of its groove and above the surfaces of the connector body. When the connector is secured against a printed circuit board, the printed circuit board depresses the contact member downwardly into its channel, that the spring action of the contact memberexerts force on the circuit pads'on the circuit board, thereby making positive, low resistance connections with the circuit board. Typical connectors such as were just described are shown in US. Pat. No. 3,173,732. I

Such connectors have proven to be quite satisfactory. for use in many applications. However, there is a definite lower limit of the spacing between contact members which can be provided with such connectors. As the size of electrical components and printed circuit boards has been progressively reduced, this lower limit has been met, and in many instances, exceeded. This lower limit is caused by the necessity to provide a discrete contact member, usually awire, and a discrete shoulder of insulative material between each of the aforementioned grooves foreach contact member. .As the connector becomes smaller and smaller to accommodate closer and closer spacing of electrical conductots, it becomes progressively'more difficult and thus more expensive, to handle and assemble the resultant fine wire contact members, and the shoulder members forming the grooves become more and more fragile and subject to breakage. There 'is thus a definite need for an electrical connector which has the advantages of such prior art connectors, but which can provide closer and closer contact spacing'while still being relatively easy andinexpensive to manufacture;

It is accordingly an object of the present invention'to provide an improved electrical connector.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved electrical connector in which the contact spacing can be less than the prior art connectors. v f

It is yet another object of thepresent'invention to can be easily and inexpensively manufactured.

Briefly stated, and in accordance with the presently preferred embodiment of this invention, an electrical connector for making electrical connection with a series of electrical conductor on a printed circuit board or the like is provided which includes a body member having a first surface adapted to be secured adjacent the series of electrical conductors. A sheet of insulative material is provided which has a front surface and a back .surface. A plurality of electrically conductive contact members are provided which are secured to and exposed from the front surface of the sheet of insulative material, and the back surface of the sheet of insulativematerial is secured to the first surface of the body member. The electrically conductive contact members may be plated or deposited onto the front surface of the sheet of insulative material, or they may be formed on it by conventional printed circuit techniques. Thus, extremely close spacing between the contact members can be easily and economically provided. I

For a complete understanding of the present invention, and appreciation of its other objects and advantages, please refer to the following detailed description of the attached drawings, in which: 'FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an electrical connector'in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a sectional view taken along the lines 2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2 and illustrates how the connector of FIGS. 1 and 2 interconnects electrical conductors' on two printed circuit boards which are positioned parallel to each other;

provide such an improved electrical connector which FIG. 4 is cross-sectional view of an electrical connector similar to the view of FIG. 2 but which illustrates a second embodiment of thepresent invention; and

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a connector in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an electrical connector 10 in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 2 shows a sectional view taken along the lines 22 of FIG. 1. The following description describes FIGS. 1 and 2 together. I

The connector 10 includes an elongated body member 12 having a generally rectangular cross-section. The body member 12 includes a first surface 14 and an opposed surface 16 which, as is better shown in FIG. 3 described below, are adapted to be secured adjacent respective series of electrical conductors whichare to be interconnected by connector 10.

In accordance with the present invention, a sheet of insulative material 18 is provided which has its back surface secured to the first and second surfaces 14 and 16 respectively of body member 12. A'plurality of generally parallel electrically conductive contact members 20 are provided which are secured to and exposed from the front surface of the sheet of insulative material '18. The sheet 18 is preferably a flexible insulative material such as any of the flexible insulative plastics well known to those skilled in the art, and the electrical contact members 20 may be formed on the front'surface of the sheet 18 in any desired manner. For example, the contact members 20 may be plated or deposited onto the front surface of sheet 18, or alternatively, a film of conductive material can be formed on'the front surface of sheet 18, and portions of it etched away, for' example by conventional printed circuit board techniques, to leave behind the desired plurality of spaced electrically conductive contact members 20.

The back surface of sheet 18 maybe secured to surfaces 14- and 16 by any desired manner. For example, the surfaces may be glued or welded together over a portion of the contact area, or a suitable wedge member (not shown) may'be provided. Alternatively, the

3 length. of the sheet 18 could be made longer and wrapped around the corners of the body member 12 and secured to its back surface 22. Thus, by secured, it is meant that the sheet 18 and the surfaces 14 and 16 are held snugly together.

A longitudinal slot or groove 24 is provided which extends along at least a portion of first surface 14 of body member 12 and an elongated tab 26 of resilient material such as rubber or the like is positioned in slot 24 which extends resiliently through the plane of surface 14 and presses against the back surface of sheet 18, thus resiliently urging sheet 18 away from the surface 14 of body member 12. A similar groove 28 is provided in second surface 16 of body member 12 and a similar pad 30 of resilient material is provided in groove 28.

FIG. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of the electrical connector of FIGS. 1 and 2 being used to provide electrical interconnection between a first series of electrical conductors 32 on a first printed circuit board 34 and a second series of electrical conductors 36 on a second printed circuit board 38. As is shown in FIG. 3, the first surface 14 of connector 10 is secured against the first series of electrical conductors 32 by any suitable means (not shown in the Figure), and the second surface 16 of connector 10 is secured against the second series of electrical conductors 36. Each of the contact members 20 provides electrical connection between one of the electrical conductors 32 and a respective one of the electrical conductors 36. Secure electrical connection between the contact members 20 and the electrical conductors 32 and 36 is assured by the resilient pads'26 and 30, which are compressed downwardly into their respective grooves and push back on the back surface of sheet 18 to provide adequate pressure between the contact members 20 and the electrical conductors 32 and 36.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the spacing between contact members 20 on sheet 18 is limited only by the state of the printed circuit art, and accordingly much closer spacing between adjacent contact members can be provided than the prior art connectors described above which require an individual wire and individual shoulder member between adjacent wires. Thus, the connector 10 of FIGS. 1 through 3 can be used to provide interconnection between printed circuit boards on which the spacing between adjacent conductors is too small to permit the use of prior art connectors. Further, as the state of the printed circuit art progresses to provide smaller and smaller circuits and circuit boards, the same advances in the art can be used with the present invention to provide smaller and smaller connectors, since in each case the printed circuit board and the connector are subject to the same state of the art limitations. In addition, those skilled in the art will appreciate and be pleased by the simplicity of manufacture and the economies of the connector of the present invention.

As was shown in FIG. 3 above, the connector 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 is used to provide electrical interconnection between two printed circuit boards which are mounted in parallel relative to each other. Such connectors are known to those skilled in the art as 180 connectors. The present invention is equally useful in the type of connectors known to those skilled in the art as 90 connectors which are used to interconnect two printed circuit boards which are positioned at substantially right angles to each other. FIG. 4 shows a crosssectional view of such a 90 connector 40 which embodies the present inventnion. The connector 40 includes an elongated body member 42 having a substantially square or rectangular cross-section, a first contact surface 44 and a second contact surface 46, each of which are adapted to be secured against a respective series of electrical conductors on a printed circuit board or the like. Now, instead of being opposed surfaces as in the case of the connector 10 of FIGS. 1 through 3, the surfaces 44 and 46 are adjacent surfaces which make substantially right angles with each other.

In other respects, the connector 40 is identical to the connector 10 of FIGS. 1 through 3. A sheet of insulative material 48 is provided whose back surface is secured to the surfaces 44 and 46. A plurality of electrically conductive contact members 50 are provided on the front surface of sheet 48 to make the actual electrical interconnection between the series of electrical conductors. A longitudinal groove 52 is provided in first surface 44 and a resilient pad 54 is provided in this groove which extends resiliently through the plane of surface 44 to urge the sheet 48 and contact members 50 away from surface 44. Similarly, a groove 56 and resilient pad 58 are provided in surface 46 to urge sheet 48 and contact members 50 away from this surface. The connector 40 is used to interconnect circuit boards mounted at right angles to each other in the manner well known to those skilled in the art.

FIG. 5 shows a cross-sectional view of an electrical connector in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. The connector 60 of FIG. 5 is generally similar to the connectors of FIGS. 1 and 2 in that the connector 60 includes a body member 62 having a generally rectangular cross-section and having opposed first and second surfaces 64 and 66 respectively which are adapted for making electrical connection with a series of electrical conductors on a pair of printed circuit boards in the manner generally shown in FIG. 3 above. The connector 60 includes a sheet of insulative material 68 which has its backsurface secured to the first and second surfaces 64 and 66 respectively of body member 62 and a plurality of generally parallel electrically conductive contact members 70 which are secured to and exposed from the front surface of the sheet of insulative material 68.

Again, as in the case of the earlier described embodiments, a pair of grooves 72 and 74 are provided in first and second surfaces 64 and 66 respectively in which are positioned resilient members to urge the back surface of flexible member 64 away from the surfaces 64 and 66. However, in this embodiment, the resilient members 76 have a generally V shaped cross-section having a first leg portion 78 anda second leg portion 80. Again, the resilient members 76 are formed from a suitable resilient material such as rubber.

As inthe case of the embodiment of FIGS. 2 and 3, the cross-sections of the grooves 72 and 74 and the resilient members 76 are chosen such that, when one of the resilient members 76 is in its relaxed state, such as is shown in FIG. 5, the first leg portion 78 lies within the groove 74 and the second leg portion 80 extends through the surface 66 in contact with the back surface of flexible insulative member 68. When the resilient members 76 are compressed (not shown in FIG. 5), the second leg portion 80 is also compressed back into'the groove 74, and the resilient member 76 is entirely contained within the groove 74 at this time. Also at this time, the compressed leg portions now exert additional pressure on the back surface of the flexible sheet 68.

The embodiment of FIG. 5 has an advantage over sectional member is compressed down into the groove, 5'

its motion has a component in the direction parallel to the surface 66 of connector 60, and this component of motion provides a superior wiping action to assure better contact between the electrical contact members 70 and the series of electrical conductors on a printed circuit board or the like with which electrical connection is being made by the connector 60.

The invention is thus disclosed and the presently preferred embodiment described in detail. However, it is not intended that the invention be limited to these shown embodiments. Instead, many modifications will occur to those skilled in the art which lie within the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, those skilled in the art are capable of devising any number of satisfactory means for providing a resilient force on the back of the insulative sheet. For example, protuberances could be molded directly into the contact surfaces of the body members of the connector. If desired, the protuberances could be undercut to increase their resilience and slots could be provided between adjacent protuberances to provide individual pressure pads for each electrical contact on the front surface of the insulative sheet. Alternatively, the body member could be formed from sheet metal or the like and slots could be provided in the sheet metal surfaces to form tines which could be bent outwardly to provide pressure pads for each contact member. It is thus intended that the invention be limited in scope only by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An electrical connector for making electrical connection with a series of electrical conductors on a printed circuit board or the like, comprising, in combination:

a body member including a surface adapted to be secured adjacent a series of electrical conductors, said surface having a longitudinal groove therein extending along at least a portion of its length;

a sheet of insulative material having a front surface and a back surface and having a plurality of electrically conductive contact members secured to and exposed from said front surface;

means securing said back surface of said sheet of insulative material to said. surface of said body member; and

means for urging said sheet of insulative material away from said surface of said body member and for providing a wiping action along said back surface of said sheet of insulative material in the direction parallel to said plurality of conductive contact members, said last mentioned means comprising a resilient member having a V shaped cross-section having first and second legs positioned in said groove.

2. The electrical connector of claim 1 in which said resilient member and said groove have predetermined crosssections chosen such that, when said resilient member is in its relaxed state, one leg of said resilient member extends through said surface of said body member, and when said resilient member is compressed into its said groove, said resilient member is entirely contained within said groove and exerts pressure on said back surface of said flexible sheet.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/66, 439/592, 361/785, 439/67
International ClassificationH01R12/16, H01R12/04, H01R11/01
Cooperative ClassificationH01R12/7082
European ClassificationH01R23/68E