Matter enclosed in heavy brackets [ ] appears in the original patent but forms no part of this reissue specification; matter printed in italics indicates the additions 5 made by reissue.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an electrical connector, and particularly to an electrical connector with a retention 10 system which can effectively resist a mating force of the connector to ensure proper electrical connection between contacts of the connector and a circuit board.
An electrical connector is commonly fixed to a circuit board by a retention member for securely fixing the connectors onto the circuit board and for absorbing a portion of mating force exerted on contacts received in the connector when a mating connector is engaged therewith. Referring to FIG. 1, a pair of conventional retention members 100 are
fixed to opposite ends of a dielectric housing 200 of a conventional connector. Each retention member 100 comprises a mounting plate 110 defining a mounting hole 120 therein for receiving a screw (not shown) to attach the retention member 100 to the housing 200, and mounting legs 130 for being inserted into corresponding through hole 500 defined 25 in a circuit board 300 thereby fixing the connector to the circuit board 300. However, the through holes 500 of the circuit board 300 compromise circuitry arrangements on the circuit board 300 and do not promote a conservation of space thereon. Therefore, a surface mount retention member has come into wide application.
A pertinent conventional retention system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,186,654. The retention system comprises a pair of U-shaped retention members. Each retention member 35 forms a pair of leg portions extending along the longitudinal direction of a connector and generally parallel to a mating printed circuit board, and a bight portion joining the leg portion and generally perpendicular to the PCB. A dielectric housing of the connector defines a pair of recesses corre- 4Q sponding to the retention members. The retention members are securely engaged within the corresponding recesses. Each retention member forms a horizontal bottom surface of a leg portion to be surface mounted to a corresponding soldering pads of the mating circuit board. Thus, the connector 45 is fixed to the PCB. However, since the retention members are manufactured from a large amount of material and the recesses of the housing are difficult to form, the manufacturing process becomes complicated and costly.
A main object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connector having retention members surface mounted to a circuit board for effectively resisting a mating force of the connector thereby preventing a disengagement 55 of contacts of the connector from a printed circuit board and providing reliable signal transmission between the connector and the circuit board.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connector having retention members for securely 60 fixing the connector to a circuit board wherein the retention members are easy to manufacture at a low cost.
An electrical connector in accordance with one aspect of the present invention for engaging with a mated connector in a mating direction comprises a dielectric housing receiving a 65 plurality of contacts therein, and a pair of retention members for securely fixing the connector to a circuit board. The
housing forms a pair of latching members projecting from opposite ends. Each latching member forms a recess and a projection integrally extending into the recess. Each retention member is L-shaped and comprises a latching portion and a mounting portion. The latching portion of each retention member defines a cutout for securely engaging with the corresponding projection of the latching member in a latching direction perpendicular to the mating direction. The mounting portion of each retention member adapted to be surface mounted to the circuit board. The retention members and the latching members have a simple structure thereby decreasing manufacturing costs of the connector.
Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional electrical connector;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an electrical connector in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention, with a retention member being separated from the connector;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, with the retention member being separated from the connector;
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken along line 4—4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an electrical connector in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention, with a retention member being separated from the connector;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along line 7—7 of FIG. 6.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, an electrical connector 1 in accordance with the present invention comprises a dielectric housing 2 receiving a plurality of contacts 3 therein, and a pair of retention members 4 (only one shown) for securely fixing the connector 1 to a circuit board (not shown).
Each contact 3 comprises a mating end 30 for electrically contacting a corresponding terminal of a mating connector (not shown), and a connecting end 31 perpendicular to the mating end 30 for electrically connecting with the circuit board. The housing 2 is elongate and defines a plurality of passageways 20 perpendicular to a longitudinal direction of the housing 2 for extension of the mating ends 30 of the corresponding contacts 3 therethrough. A plurality of grooves 201 is defined in a bottom surface of the housing 2 in communication with and perpendicular to the corresponding passageways 20 for receiving the connecting ends 31 of the corresponding contacts 3. The passageways 20 and the mating ends 30 of the contacts 3 extend in a mating direction A of the connector 1 engaging with a mating connector. The mating direction A is perpendicular to the circuit board on which the connector 1 is fixed.
The housing 2 is equipped with a pair of latching members 21 outwardly projecting from opposite ends for engaging with the corresponding retention members 4. Each latching member 21 is block-like and forms a recess 250 exposed to a front face 22 and a bottom face 251 thereof, and a projection 26 integrally extending into the recess 250 from a rear wall 23 of the latching member 21 toward the front face