US 2703395 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 1, 1955 J. LONG ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed Sept. 2, 1949 w 1 3n 1. a w
March 1, 1955 J. LONG ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed Sept. 2, 1949 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 III III/I.
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March 1, 1955 J. LONG ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed Sept. 2, 1949 3y Sheets-Sheet 3 IN V EN TOR.
I 5 a 7 1%: M Y J L. E l p w W United States Patent "ce 2,703,395 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Jasper Long, Sturgis, Mich., assignor to Wade Electric Products Co., Sturgis, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Application September 2, 1949, Serial No. 113,833 7 Claims. (Cl. 339205) This invention relates to electrical connectors, and, in particular, refers to connectors of the type adapted to form an easily made interconnection among a plurality of terminals of blade or spade constructions.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved connector construction wherein the contact elements make optimum contact with terminals inserted therein.
A further object is to provide a connector which may be economically manufactured and easily assembled.
Another object is to provide an improved means for attaching the contact elements to the connector housing.
An additional object is to provide a connector having resilient contact elements which form a permanent connection with the terminal inserted therein.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent uplonh consideration of the accompanying drawings in w 10 Figure 1 is an axial section through one form of connector embodying the invention;
Fig. 2 is a lateral section taken along the line 22 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a longitudinal section taken on the line 33 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is a section similar to that of Fig. 3, but shows a modified means of attaching the contact elements to the connector housing;
Fig. 5 is a lateral cross section taken on the line 5-5 of Fig. 4;
Fig. 6 is a longitudinal section similar to that of Fig. 3, showing another modified form of the invention;
Fig. 6A is a view corresponding to Fig. 6 but showing a modification of the invention;
7 is an axial section taken on the line 7-7 of 1g.
Fig. 7A is an axial section taken on line 7A-7A of Fig. 6A;
Fig.78 is an end elevation taken from the right of Figs. 6 an Fig. 9 is a longitudinal section, similar to that of Fig. 3, of the invention adapted to interconnect two pairs of terminals;
Fig. 10 is a section taken on the line 1010 of Fig. 9;
Fig. 11 is a lateral section taken on line 1111 of Fig. 9;
Fig. 12 is a partial longitudinal section through a modified form of the invention;
Fig. 13 is a cross section taken on the line 1212 of Fig. 12;
Fig. 14 is a partial longitudinal section through another form of the invention;
Figs. 15 and 16 are sections taken respectively on lines 15-15 and 16-16 of Fig. 14;
Fig. 17 is an axial section through a modified form of connector which is adapted to make permanent connection with a terminal;
Fig. 18 shows an application of the connector of Fig. 17;
Fig. 19 is an end view of the connector of Fig. 17;
Fig. 20 is a longitudinal section through another form of the invention; and
Fig. 21 is a longitudinal section through a still further modified form of the invention.
Referring first to Figs. 1-3, the connector 1 has a hollow insulative housing 3 which contains within its bore 5 a pair of oppositely disposed contact elements or strips 7. These strips are adapted to provide axially or longitudinally spaced mouths or receptacles which re- 2,703,395 Patented Mar. 1, 1955 ceive the conductors A and their fiat'or spade terminals B. Current from one conductor flows through the contact strips 7 to the other.
The contact elements 7 are preferably fabricated from resilient strip stock by rebending the flat end portions 9 thereof upon the base portion 11 about axes transverse to the length of the housing, the flat portions being located inwardly of the ends of the base portion. Rounded detent nibs 13 may be formed in the end portions to fit in detent holes C in the terminals B and removably or yieldably hold the terminals. It will be noted that the fiat portions 9 lie flatwise against the fiat faces of the terminals B, thereby afiording a large area of contact between elements A-B. Entry of a terminal spreads the portitlms 9, causing the latter to resiliently grip the termlna The bore 5 of the housing 3 is preferably provided with opposite flat walls 15 which serve to locate and align the flat base portions of the contact strips 7, it being understood that, in the broader aspects of the invention, the base portions do not necessarily have to be flat but may be shaped in other ways. The walls 15 of the housing 3 have oppositely disposed projections 17 which extend radially into the bore 5 and fit in suitable apertures 19 formed in the internal base portions 11 of the contact elements '7. If only one projection 17 is provided for each contact element 7, it is preferably of noncircular form so as to restrict or eliminate twisting of the element. The diametrical distance between the inner faces of the projections 17 is preferably less than the over-all width of the pair of contact elements when they are placed face to face, i. e., end portions 9 contacting each other. This feature of construction prevents either of the elements from becoming disconnected from the projections 17 upon which it is mounted. Mounting of the elements upon the projections 17 is achieved by slight resilient deformation of the end portions 9, which temporarily reduces the overall width of the contact elements and permits their insertion. When the apertures 19 align with the projections 17, the elements 7 snap into place against the walls 15.
It will be recognized that, broadly speaking the manner of connecting the elements to the housing 3 may be reversed if desired. In this case apertures would be formed in the wall 15 of the bore to receive radial projections on the base portions 11 of the strips 7.
In the modified form of connection 1 shown in Figs. 4 and 5, the contact elements 7 are attached to the walls 15 of the housing bore 5 in a slightly diiferent manner. In this design each strip 7 has two slots 21 opening into are snapped upon radial walls 15 in the manner to interconnect diiferent numbers of connectors will be apparent. In this connector each of the pairs of contact strips 27 is provided on one end with one rebent end portion 31, and on the other end with two laterally spaced rebent end portions 33, each of these end portions being of a construction similar or identical to that described above in connection with end portions 9. The end portions 31 and 33 are joined by the integral base portion 35, which, as before, carries current therebetween and also provides a means for connecting the element 27 to the housing 29.
Due to the greater number of rebent terminal contacting end portions 33 at one end than the portions 31 at the other, the required width of the contact strip at one end is greater than at the other. The strip 27 is therefore formed with a necked-in portion which provides lateral shoulders 37 that face the smaller end of the element 27 having contact portion 31. The housing 29 is reduced in diameter to suit the element 27 and accordingly provides lateral shoulders 39 which engage the element shoulders 37 to locate or position the element with respect to relative movement in the direction of the end portion 31. In order to prevent movement of contact elements in the opposite direction, the opposite inner walls 41 of the housing 29 having radial inwardly extending projections 43 which fit in slots 45 formed in the base portions 35 between the contact portions 33. The contact elements 27 are obviously inserted into the housing 29 through the large end 47 thereof and to facilitate this assembly the projections 43 may be upwardly inclined in the direction of insertion, thus actingas wedges to compress the elements 27 until the bases of the slots 45 slide over the top of the projection shoulders 49 to be held by the shoulders against removal. The contact elements are thus firmly positioned in the housing 29 between the shoulders 39 and the projection shoulders 49.
The embodiment of Figs. 6A and 7A duplicates that of Figures 6 through 8, with the exception that the above described shoulders 49 are eliminated and a different means is employed for preventing Withdrawal of the contacts from the insulator. In Figures 6A and 7A, the single end of the insulator 25 is provided with diametrically opposite grooves 32, the inner ends 34' whereof define shoulders over which engage tongues 36, struck from the backs of the contacts 27. It will be appreciated that during entering movement of the contacts, the tongues 36 may yield until they pass beyond the shoulders 34, at which time they snap into engaging relation therebehind or alternatively the tongues may be rigid while the contact ends 31 and 33 yield.
In Figs. 9-11 a connector 51 is shown for interconnecting two pairs of contact elements from which the manner in which the invention can be adapted to interconnect more than one conductor with an equal number of conductors will be apparent. The connector 51 is similar to connector 1 but in order to accommodate the extra conductor on each side each of the pair of contact elements 53 is enlarged to include two pairs of rebent terminal contacting end portions 55. These are joined by a base portion 57 which conducts the current between the opposite pairs of terminals and has laterally spaced apertures 59 which are placed over the radial projections 61 extending inwardly from the inner walls of the housing 63 in order to position the elements in the manner indicated above.
It will be apparent to those in the artthat the invention may be embodied in connectors which are adapted to provide a plurality of separate interconnections between single pairs of conductors or, in other words, to serve more than one circuit. In these embodiments the housings are provided with interior partitions which define a plurality of separate chambers or bores. The opposed pairs of contact elements are constructed and attached to the walls of these bores in the manner described above in connection with Figs. 1-5.
Figs. 12 and 13 show a modified form of the invention wherein the housing 64 has inwardly extending ribs or projections 65 in its bore 66 which are of substantial width so as to increase their strength and their resistance to shear loads applied thereto by insertion or removal of the terminals. In this modification the base portions of the contact elements 67 are bridged over the projections 65, as shown at 68. The bridge portions 68 have downwardly struck cars 69 which lie in the plane of the base portions and which provide two axial sides and thereby define apertures for receiving the projections 65 and are thus effective to hold the contact elements 67 in axial osition. Sidewise movement of the contact elements 67 is restricted by the walls of the bore 66.
The embodiment of Figures 14, 15 and 16 is generally like that of Figures 9, and 11, modified, however, to embody the bridging arrangement described with reference to Figures 12 and 13. 'In Figures 14, and 16, the insulatorSl'a is provided, intermediate its length, and on opposite walls thereof, with ribs 61a which extend entirely thereacross and which, consequently, define axially spaced, oppositely facing shoulders 59a.
The contacts 53a have the inwardly turned terminal receiving portions as described with reference to Figures 9, '10 and 11. -In this instance, however, the base portions of the contacts have bridges 53b formed therein which extend entirely thereacross and which straddle the ribs 61a. Each bridge 53b is provided with two, laterally spaced pairs of tongues 53c, corresponding to the tongues 69 of Figures 12 and 13. The ends of these tongues lie immediately adjacent the corresponding oppositely facing shoulders 59a. With this relation, it will be appreciated that in inserting a pair of contacts, the 'leading'fingers 53c ride up over the ribs 61a and thereafter snap into place behind the shoulder provided-by the rib.
- in a permanent manner to conductor 92 In the embodiments of the invention which have been illustrated. in Figs. 116,..the resilient terminalcontacting end portions of the contact strips have been provided with detent nibs, such as nibs 13 in Fig. 1, which are rounded or otherwise suitably shaped to permit the terminal blades C to be Withdrawn, tension on the conductors A causing the nibs to ride up the edges of the detent holes to release the blades. The connectors so far described thus have a releasable or removable connection with the conductors. In some instances it is desirable to have a connector which forms a permanent connection, or at least a connection which cannot be easily broken by simply pulling the conductor. Figs. 17, 1'8 and 19 illustrate a connector 71 that has received considerable commercial approval which forms such a permanent connection with one of a pair of connectors. From this embodiment, the manner in which a permanent connection may be made with more than one conductor will be apparent.
The connector 71 has a housing 73 which may have an enlarged end 75 to facilitate production procedures and which also serves to indicate which end of the connector 71 is capable ofpermanent connection to a conductor. A pair of contact elements 77 and 79 are mounted within the housing 73 by the means described. in connection with Figs. 1-3 to provide two pairs of cooperating terminal contacting end portions. One pair has nibs 81 which are preferably. formed in the manner already indicated, but the other pair have spur detent nibs 83 which are adapted to prevent removal of the terminal blade which it engages. If it .is assumed that the edges of the detent hole in the terminal blade will be normal to the surface of the contact portion 85, it will be apparent that it will not be possible to pull the blade by the inwardly facing surfaces or shoulders on the detent nibs 83 which make acute angles that open inwardly with the inner surface of the contact portion 85. Removal of a terminal secured to nibs 83 can, if required, be obtained by spreading the pair of contacting portions by means of a screw driver or the like. The nibs 83 may beformed in any desired manner, but a preferred method consists in shearing three sides of a substantially rectangular portion of contact portion 85 and bending this rectangular portion .no more than ninety degrees. As will be. recog nized from Fig. 17, such a construction provides, in effect, a catch or spur which, after insertion in the detent hole of a terminal blade, prevents outward movement thereof.
A typical application of the connector 71 is illustrated in Fig. 18. In this application a combination tail and stop light is shown which has two lead lines 92 and 94 for the two electrical circuits required. These parts are supplied as a unit from one source and must be properly connected to the wires 92a and 94a which have been installed on an automobile. By attaching a connector 71 and another to the conductor 94a, it is apparent that it is impossible to incorrectly complete the two circuits. Another popular manner of using the connector 71 is to permanently connect it to a hot conductor or one leading directly to the power source. In this case the housing 73 furnishes insulation for the conductor terminal which prevents short circuiting thereof.
It will be apparent that connector 71 also has the advantages associated with the other connections already described. Thus, each contact element ors-trip has individual and independent terminal contacting portions for each terminal blade which engages the element. This, it will be recognized, is achieved by reversely bending suitable individual end portions to form the contact portions. The integral and continuous base-portions which join the end portions provide excellent current transfer means for the connected terminals and also serve to connect the elements in a simple manner to the connector housing. Since the elements may be formed by stamping and the housings by molding, expensive machining operations are eliminated and the connector can be inexpensively manufactured.
Fig. 20 shows a modification of the invention wherein only a single contact element is employed to interconnect two terminal blades. In this construction a contact elemen! 67 is positioned on a lateral lug 65 in the housing 101, the projection and element having been described in connection with Figs. 1'2 and '13. Opposite the projection 65 and in lieu of a second contact element 67, the housing is provided with a second and larger projection 103. This projection extends inwardly a sufiicient amount to require a slight compression of the contact legs before the element 67 can be inserted upon the projection 65 and preferably maintains the legs in slightly compressed condition during assembly. One face of terminal blades inserted in the connector will engage the inner face of the projection 103 and the other faces will engage the resilient legs of the contact element 67. Since the contact element 67 is a continuous'strip, the blades will be electrically interconnected.
Fig. 21 shows another form of connector which eniploys only a single contact element to interconnect the terminal blades 105 and 106. The housing 107 has a projection 65 to which the contact element 109 is secured. This element, like element 67, has a bridge portion 111 over the projection 65 with ears 113 that engage opposite sides of this projection. This connector is adapted to permanently receive the terminal blade 106 but removably receives the connector 105. For this purpose the housing has a locking ledge or projection 115 adjacent to the terminal contacting portion or leg 117 of the element 109 and the blade has a shear nib 119. After the nib 119 has ridden over the top of the ledge 115 upon insertion of the blade 106, its radial or lateral face engages the inner flat wall 116 of the ledge. The blade 106 is resiliently held in this position by the leg 117 scthat the ledge 115, by contact with the nib 119, prevents removal of the blade'l06. The other end of the element 109 has a leg or terminal engaging portion 121 which is adjacent an inner wall of the housing 107. Blade 105 has a detent 123 which, upon entry to the blade, lies bchind the inturned end 124 of the contact and releasably holds the parts together.
As has been indicated by the various embodiments of the invention described and shown above, the invention is capable of rather wide modification and it is not intended to limit it to the specific details of construction hereinbefore set forth.
What is claimed is:
1. An electrical connector comprising a hollow housing having oppositely disposed radial projections extending into the bore thereof, a pair of oppositely disposed contact strips Within the bore having integral base portions and having at each end reversely bent resilient end portions, said base portions being in engagement with the walls of said bore outwardly of said end portions, the end portions on the opposite strips being spaced slightly radially from each other to provide a pair of axially spaced resilient mouths for receiving terminals, and means on the base portion of each strip to provide engagement with a projection and thereby position the strip.
2. The invention as claimed in claim 1 wherein said elements have bridge portions bent from the base gaging opposite sides of the projections.
3. An electrical coupling comprising a hollow housing open at opposite ends, a contact element in and extending lengthwise of said housing and having a base portion and reversely bent end portions spaced substantially away from the base portion to provide relatively movable resilient terminal contacting portions at opposite ends of the element and adjacent the openings at opposite ends of the housing, said end portions being bent around axes transverse to the length of said housing and extending inwardly from the ends of the element toward each other and terminating inwardly of the ends of the base portion, said base portion being in engagement with the inside wall of the housing outwardly of said end portions, and means for securing the element by means of its base portion to the housing.
4. An electrical coupling comprising an elongated hollow housing having a longitudinal bore extending therethrough and opening out of opposite ends, a contact element in said bore having a base portion and both end portions being rebent about axes transverse to the length of the bore and spaced substantially away from the base portion, said end portions extending inwardly from the ends of the element toward each other and terminating inwardly of the ends of the base portion and over the base that the terminal portrons are centrally disposed within the bore of the housing and one of the portions is accessible from each opening in the ends of the housing.
5. The invention set forth in claim 3 wherein said base portion and said inside wall are flat.
6. The invention set forth in claim 3 wherein said means comprises a transverse rib on said inside wall and said base portion has a central portion bent away from the plane of the base portion to provide a bridge over the rib but integral with the base portion, said base portion having ears on opposite sides of said bridge and lying in the plane of the base portion and which define an aperture receiving said rib.
7. The invention set forth in claim 1 wherein said base portions and the walls in engagement therewith are flat.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,266,441 Finkelstein May 14, 1918 1,336,290 Finkelstein Apr. 6, 1920 1,341,468 Kenney May 25, 1920 1,376,068 Benjamin Apr. 26, 1921 1,583,884 Ile May 11, 1926 2,149,550 Richards et al. Mar. 7, 1939 2,162,265 Loomis June 13, 1939 2,301,447 Parker et al. Nov. 10, 1942 2,336,517 Wade B Dec. 14, 1943 2,380,916 Beal Aug. 7, 1945 2,392,438 Wade A Jan. 8, 1946 2,431,366 Buell Nov. 25, 1947 2,431,583 Penfold Nov. 25, 1947