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43! 481 424 422 FIG. 6A 4l2 «' 49la 433 48,a 48,
632 y 627 681 624 622 FIG. 8 A 666 6fa 69Jf 681^ 624
CARD EDGE CONNECTOR WITH
DEFLECTIVE LATCH MEMBERS
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an electrical connector 5 which can accommodate memory circuit boards used as memory modules mainly in computers, and it relates to a latch-equipped electrical connector which includes a latching means that can fasten circuit boards in place thereto.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 10
One example of a latch-equipped electrical connector is disclosed in Japanese Utility Model Registration No. 3015081. The connector accommodates memory circuit boards which have cut-outs or recesses located in the side is edges. The latch members are made of metal, and they are disposed inside cavities on inside surfaces of arms located in the vicinity of both ends of a housing. The latch members have engaging sections, which protrude in order to allow engagement along the recesses in the circuit board, and stop 20 sections, which prevent the circuit board from slipping out; the stop sections are positioned at upper ends of the latch members. This connector suffers from two problems. The first problem concerns the reliability of the accommodation and holding of the circuit board in place. Specifically, in the 25 connector disclosed in the abovementioned Utility Model Registration, the connector has a structure which allows flexing of the latch members even in cases where the cut-outs in the circuit board are not accurately aligned with the engaging sections of the latch members at the time of 30 accommodation within the connector. Accordingly, there is a danger that the latch members will be deformed as a result of the cut-outs not being accurately aligned with the engaging sections so that the circuit board cannot be properly held within the connector. Furthermore, the engaging sections 35 and stop sections are at the same location, and the engaging sections engage along the side edges of the cut-outs, so that the holding strength following accommodation within the connector is relatively weak. The second problem is the width dimension of the connector. Since the arms must be 40 formed on the housing, the housing is relatively large; accordingly, relatively large mounting dimensions are required.
A latch-equipped connector which solves the second problem is disclosed in Japanese Patent Application No. 45 9-82429. The connector disclosed therein has a long, slender housing and metal latch members which are fastened in positions near both ends of the housing. In this connector, the width dimension is small, since no arms are formed on the housing; accordingly, this connector offers the advantage 50 of requiring a relatively small mounting area. In particular, it should be noted that since no arms are present on the housing, board-positioning members, which guide the accommodation of the circuit board and determine the accommodated position when the circuit board is accom- 55 modated within the connector, are formed as integral parts of the latch members.
In recent years, there has been a demand for a latchequipped connector with even smaller mounting dimensions than those of the connector disclosed in Japanese Patent 60 Application No. 9-82429. In such a connector, there is especially a need for a further reduction in dimensions in the direction of length of the latch members.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 65
Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a compact latch-equipped electrical connector
which allows accurate accommodation and holding of circuit boards within the connector, and which can insure stable holding of circuit boards therein.
Furthermore, another object of the present invention is to provide a latch-equipped electrical connector for memory circuit boards which can minimize the required mounting area for the circuit boards.
The present invention is directed to a latch-equipped electrical connector which has a long, slender housing for accommodating a circuit board having side edges that include cut-outs or recesses, and metal latch members fastened in position near both ends of the housing, and which include board-engaging sections that protrude inward so as to engage with the cut-outs in the accommodated circuit board. And board-holding sections that prevent the circuit board from slipping out. The board-holding sections are positioned more toward the ends of the latch members than the board-engaging sections, and they have inclined portions that are inclined substantially inward, and board-holding portions that are positioned adjacent bottom sides of the inclined portions, and projections, which are placed at at least the height positions of upper ends of the board-holding sections, are located on upper ends of the board-engaging sections.
Furthermore, the board-holding sections have overlapping metal plates, which are constructed so that the boardholding sections are equipped with a board-holding portion extending in a substantially horizontal direction from an upper end of an inside plate, and an inclined portion extending at an inclination from an upper end of an outside plate toward the inside to a position which overlaps with the board-holding portion.
Moreover, the latch members are equipped with solderconnection sections that are fastened to a mother circuit board, board-positioning sections which determine the accommodated position of the circuit board when the circuit board is accommodated, and they are constructed so that the board-positioning sections and the solder-connection sections overlap each other.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGS, lfl-lc illustrate a latch-equipped connector of the present invention; FIG. la is a top plan view, FIG. lb is a front view of FIG. la, and FIG. lc is a right-side view of FIG. la.
FIGS. 2a-2e show one of the latch members used in the latch-equipped connector shown in FIG. 1; FIG. 2a is a view looking in the direction of arrow 2a of FIG. 2b, FIG. 2b is a top plan view of FIG. 2a, FIG. 2c is a view looking in the direction of arrow 2c of FIG. 2b, FIG. 2d is view looking in the direction of arrow 2c of FIG. 2d, and FIG. 2e is a cross-sectional view taken along line 2e—2e in FIG. 2a.
FIGS. 3a-3c illustrate an embodiment of the latch members of a latch-equipped connector of the present invention; FIG. 3a is a side view, FIG. 3b is a top plan view of FIG. 3a, and FIG. 3c is a view looking in the direction of arrow 3c of FIG. 3a.
FIGS. 4a-4c illustrate another embodiment of the latch members of a latch-equipped connector of the present invention; FIG. 4a is a side view, FIG. 4b is a top plan view of FIG. 4a, and FIG. 4c is a view looking in the direction of arrow 4c in FIG. 4a.
FIGS. 5a-5d illustrate a further embodiment of the latch members of a latch-equipped connector of the present invention; Figure 5a is a side view, FIG. 5b is a top plan view of Figure 5a, FIG. 5c is a cross-sectional view taken along line 5c—5c in FIG. 5a, and FIG. 5d is a view looking in the 5 direction indicated by arrow 5d in FIG. 5a.
FIGS. 6a-6c illustrate an additional embodiment of the latch members of a latch-equipped connector of the present invention; FIG. 6a is a side view, FIG. 6b is a top plan view of FIG. 6a , and FIG. 6c is a view looking in the direction 1° indicated by arrow 6c in FIG. 6a.
FIGS. 7a—7c illustrate a still further embodiment of the latch members of a latch-equipped connector of the present invention; FIG. 7a is a side view, FIG. 7b is a top plan view of FIG. 7a , and FIG. 7c is a view looking in the direction 15 indicated by arrow 7c in FIG. 7a.
FIGS. 8a-8c illustrate still another embodiment of the latch members of a latch-equipped connector of the present invention; FIG. 8a is a side view, FIG. 8b is a top plan view of FIG. 8a , and FIG. 8c is a view looking in the direction 20 indicated by arrow 8c in FIG. 8a.
FIGS. 9a-9c illustrate still an additional embodiment of the latch members of a latch-equipped connector of the present invention; FIG. 9a is a side view, FIG. 9b is a top 2J plan view of FIG. 9a, and FIG. 9c is a view looking in the direction indicated by arrow 9c in FIG. 9a.
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of a board-holding section illustrating a modification of the latch member.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE 30
Latch-equipped connector 10 as shown in FIGS, la-lchas a long, slender rectangular housing 11 and metal latch members 20, which are positioned at both ends of the 35 housing 11. The housing 11 has a board-accommodating slot 13 in which a plurality of electrical contacts 12 are disposed. A memory circuit board is accommodated and used inside the board-accommodating slot 13. The electrical contacts 12 are arranged in rows so that they electrically engage upper 40 and lower conductive pads of the circuit board (not shown). The latch members 20 are fastened in place by press-fitting in positions near both ends of the housing 11, and they extend in a direction perpendicular to the direction of length of the housing 11. 45
As shown in FIGS. 2a-2e, each latch member 20 has an inner plate 21 and an outer plate 22 which are overlapped in an inward-outward direction by bending of the metal plate from which the latch member is made. Inner end 23a of connecting section 23, where the inner plate 21 and outer 50 plate 22 are connected, engages the housing 11 as shown in FIG. la. The inner plate 21 and outer plate 22 extend forwardly from the connecting section 23 independently of each other. The inner plate 21 has an extension 21a that has a serrated surface 21b for press-fitting in slots is at respective 55 ends of housing 11 as shown in FIGS, la, lb. The inner plate 21 has a solder-connection section 24, which is used to fasten the inner plate 21 by soldering to a mother board on which the latch-equipped connector 10 is to be mounted. The solder-connection section 24 is formed by bending the 60 bottom end of the inner plate 21 so that the bottom end extends inward. An opening 25 is formed in the inner plate 21 in a position near the solder-connection section 24. Opening 25 is formed in order to install a board-positioning section 26. During the accommodation of the circuit board, 65 the board-positioning section 26 engages a bottom surface of the circuit board, and it acts to stop further movement of the
circuit board from the bottom side thereof. As shown in FIGS. 2a, 2c and 2e, the board-positioning section 26 overlaps with the solder-connection section 24. A tongue 27, which protrudes further toward an outer end of latch members 20, is located at an outer end of the inner plate 21. Tongue 27 extends outward at a slight inclination, and it is positioned so that it overlaps with a board-engaging section 31 located on an extended portion of the outer plate 22. As will be described later, tongue constitutes an overstresspreventing member which prevents excessive displacement of a resilient arm 33 which flexes outward.
The outer plate 22 has resilient arm 33, which includes the board-engaging section 31 described above, and which further includes a board-holding section 32 to hold the board in position. The resilient arm 33 is disposed so that resilient displacement toward the outside is possible. In FIG. la, a portion of an end edge of an accommodated circuit board is indicated hypothetically as C; as will be understood from this, board-engaging sections 31 engage with cut-outs or recesses CI in the side edges of the circuit board. Although not shown, the latch-equipped connector 10 is similar to a conventional connector; the electrical contacts 12 accommodated in the housing 11 are placed so that a rotational moment is applied to the accommodated circuit board, and the connector and circuit board are constructed so that the contacts 12 and conductive pads of the circuit board are caused to make resilient connection so that they are electrically connected to each other as a result of being stopped from an upper surface by the latch members 20.
The board-holding sections 32 include board-holding portions 34, which extend in a horizontal direction in order to stop the pivoting of the circuit board. The holding portions 34 of the board-holding section 32 engage with an upper board surface at positions located behind the cut-outs CI. As seen from FIGS. 2c, 2d, holding portion 34 is formed so that it extends in a horizontal direction from an upright portion 35. Board-holding section 32 also has an inclined portion 36, which is constructed so that it extends toward a top at an inclination from the end of the holding portion 34. As a result of the presence of the inclined portions 36, the circuit board can be smoothly moved and guided so that the circuit board can be moved to a desired position relative to the housing 11.
The holding portions 34 and inclined portions 36 are continuous; accordingly, when a circuit board is accommodated, the circuit board acts on the inclined portions 36 so that the resilient arms 33 are cammed outward. As the accommodation of the circuit board progresses so that the circuit board reaches the desired position against the board-positioning section 26, the engagement between the inclined portions 36 and the circuit board is released and the board-holding portions 34 automatically engage with the upper surface of the circuit board; as a result, the circuit board is held within the connector without any danger of slipping out. The following point should be noted: i.e., as shown in FIG. 2b, edges 36a of the inclined portions 36 extend at an inclination in the direction of length of the latch members 20, so that the accommodation of the circuit board can be accomplished more smoothly. The inclined portions 36 also act as operating members for the removal of the circuit board. Specifically, a worker removing the circuit board places his fingers on the inclined portions 36 and presses them outward. As a result, the engagement of the board-holding portions 34 and the circuit board is released, so that the circuit board rises upward as a result of rotational moment, so that the worker can easily remove the circuit board from the connector.