EP0158413B1 - Low insertion force electrical connector with stress controlled contacts - Google Patents

Low insertion force electrical connector with stress controlled contacts Download PDF

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Publication number
EP0158413B1
EP0158413B1 EP19850301007 EP85301007A EP0158413B1 EP 0158413 B1 EP0158413 B1 EP 0158413B1 EP 19850301007 EP19850301007 EP 19850301007 EP 85301007 A EP85301007 A EP 85301007A EP 0158413 B1 EP0158413 B1 EP 0158413B1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
printed circuit
circuit board
contact
cavity
disposed
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
EP19850301007
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP0158413A3 (en
EP0158413A2 (en
Inventor
Alan Walse
John Stipanuk
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Molex LLC
Original Assignee
Molex LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US59733384A priority Critical
Priority to US597333 priority
Application filed by Molex LLC filed Critical Molex LLC
Publication of EP0158413A2 publication Critical patent/EP0158413A2/en
Publication of EP0158413A3 publication Critical patent/EP0158413A3/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP0158413B1 publication Critical patent/EP0158413B1/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R12/00Structural associations of a plurality of mutually-insulated electrical connecting elements, specially adapted for printed circuits, e.g. printed circuit boards [PCBs], flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures, e.g. terminal strips, terminal blocks; Coupling devices specially adapted for printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures; Terminals specially adapted for contact with, or insertion into, printed circuits, flat or ribbon cables, or like generally planar structures
    • H01R12/70Coupling devices
    • H01R12/82Coupling devices connected with low or zero insertion force
    • H01R12/83Coupling devices connected with low or zero insertion force connected with pivoting of printed circuits or like after insertion

Description

  • The present invention generally relates to electrical connectors for making electrical connections to printed circuit boards and concerns, more particularly, low insertion force electrical connectors for making electrical connections to conductive strips mounted along the edges of printed circuit boards.
  • Low insertion force electrical connectors for making electrical connections to conductive strips disposed generally in parallel along opposite sides of an elongated edge of a printed circuit board are old and well known in the prior art. Examples of such devices and electrical contacts for such devices are disclosed in United States Letters Patents Nos. 3,701,071; 3,795,888; 3,920,303; 3,848,952; 4,136,917; and Re.26,692. The electrical connectors disclosed in such patents receive printed circuit boards with low insertion force in order to limit the wear of the spring contacts associated with the electrical connectors and the conductive strips associated with the printed circuit boards.
  • While many prior art electrical connectors have been able to provide low insertion force electrical connections with printed circuit boards, such devices typically do not provide fixed connector housing stops for directly contacting the printed circuit boards to limit the amount of contact force and resultant stress applied to the connector spring contacts. The possibility of overstressing the spring contacts thus exists which could result in a reduction of the effectiveness of the electrical . connection between the spring contacts and the conductive strips on the printed circuit boards.
  • DE-B-2,537,281 describes a low insertion force connector for a printed circuit board comprising a housing having a limit surface which determines the final rotated position of a printed circuit board relative to the connector spring contacts and in which the contacts make electrical connection with the printed circuit board conductive strips.
  • US-A-3,848,952 describes a low insertion force connector for a printed circuit board in which forked spring contacts receive the circuit board mating edge in their forks prior to rotation of the board to make electrical contact. The forked spring contacts are at different levels in the connector housing and the forks are resiliently mounted each on a spring arm having a vertically and a horizontally disposed lengthwise portion which provides for X-Y displacement of each fork in a single plane to allow the forks to move freely to receive the printed circuit board mating edge with low insertion force. The forks themselves are relatively stiff and the contact pressure is achieved by deflection of the spring arms upon rotation of the board and resulting from a corresponding rotation of the forks.
  • US-A-4,136,917 describes a low insertion force connector which axially adjusts the printed circuit board to align its contact pads with the connector contacts as the printed circuit board is rotated into its final position to achieve the contact pressure. The connector spring contacts are fork-shaped providing two spring leg portions, one of which is straight and the other of which is connected through a curved portion to the straight leg portion. The straight leg portion extends perpendicularly to a transverse web portion of the contact which fixedly mounts the contact in the connector housing. On the free ends of the leg portions there are provided contact noses which face each other but are on different levels, the one on said other leg portion, connected through the curved contact portion, being the lower. Rotation of the printed circuit board following insertion of the mating edge of the board between the legs of the forks brings the contact noses into contact with the board, to make electrical contact with the contact pads on the board.
  • A need exists for electrical connectors having housings that directly contact the printed circuit boards on both sides to limit the amount of deflection of the spring contacts mounted therein.
  • An object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved electrical connector of this kind.
  • The present invention provides a low insertion force electrical connector for a printed circuit board having a mating edge with a plurality of contact pads adjacent said edge, said connector including an elongated dielectric housing with a cavity formed along its length for receiving the printed circuit board mating edge, a plurality of spring contacts mounted in the housing to engage the printed circuit board contact pads when the printed circuit board is inserted in the cavity at a first angular position and subsequently pivoted to a second angular position, wherein each of said spring contacts is stamped and integrally formed to have a rounded continuously curved configuration, said housing further including an integrally formed limit surface disposed immediately adjacent said-spring contacts and said printed circuit board contact pads when said printed circuit board is inserted in said cavity, said limit surface being arranged to directly physically contact said printed circuit board mating edge to limit deflection of said spring contacts characterised in that each of said spring contacts has first and second free ends having contact surfaces disposed at first and second elevations at respective sides of said cavity to make electrical contact with contact pads disposed on respective first and second opposed surfaces of said printed circuit board, said free ends being disposed on . the respective ends of a central, generally C-shaped portion,of the contact, the contact further including a mounting leg extending downwardly from the central portion intermediate the ends thereof and providing the sole support for said C-shaped portion, whereby said C-shaped portion is resiliently mounted to have freedom of movement as the printed circuit board is pivoted in said cavity between said first and second angular positions, said integrally formed limit surface directly physically contacting that one of the opposed surfaces of the printed circuit board contacted by one free end of said C-shaped portion to limit the deflection of said one free end of said C-shaped portion in a direction away from its other free end and in that said housing has a further one of said iimit surfaces which directly physically contacts the other of the opposed surfaces of the printed circuit board to limit the deflection of the other free end of said C-shaped portion in a direction away from said one free end thereof.
  • One way of carrying out the invention is described in detail below by way of example, and not by way of limitation, and with reference to drawings which illustrate only the specific embodiment. In the drawings:
    • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a printed circuit board and of an electrical connector for use therewith constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
    • FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross sectional view of the electrical connector of FIG. 1 depicting the printed circuit board in its initial or inserted position in the electrical connector; and
    • FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross sectional view similar to the view of FIG. 2 depicting the printed circuit board in its final or contact position in the electrical connector.
  • Referring to the drawings, the low insertion force, multiple contact electrical connector 10, is for use in making electrical connections to a conventional printed circuit board 12. While the electrical connector 10 is depicted and described herein as being capable of receiving and making electrical connections to two printed circuit boards 12, the principles of the present invention disclosed herein are equally applicable to electrical connectors suitable for use in making electrical connections to a single printed circuit board 12 or to a plurality of three or more printed circuit boards 12.
  • The electrical connector 10 includes an elongated housing 13, formed from any suitable insulating material, having a pair of elongated, spaced apart, access cavities 14 and 16 formed along an elongated base 18 and a plurality of four upstanding circuit board support or retention posts 20, 22, 24 and 26. Each of the posts 20, 22, 24, 26 includes an integrally formed, resilient or yieldable latch 28 formed at the upper end thereof for yieldably retaining a printed circuit board 12 in a final or contact position between associated pairs of the posts 20, 22 and 24, 26. More specifically, each latch 28 includes an elongated tapered surface 30 formed at its free end that is capable of being outwardly deflected upon contact with one of the spaced apart lateral edges 32 and 34 of the printed circuit board 12. When the printed circuit board 12 is fully received within a pair of spaced apart cavities 36, formed in the posts 20, 22, 24, 26, the associated resilient latches 28 return to their nondeflected position (FIG. 1) to retain the printed circuit board 12 in its final or contact position.
  • Each access cavity 14 and 16 includes a plurality of generally parallel, spaced apart, transversely oriented slots 38 disposed along substantially its entire length. A connector spring contact 40 (FIGS. 2 and 3), formed from any suitable resilient electrically conductive metallic material, such as a strip of beryllium copper having a thickness of approximately .015 inch (0.38 mm), is disposed in each one of the slots 38. If desired, the spring contact 40 disposed in a slot 38 along the cavity 14 (for example, the slot 38a) may be electrically short circuited to the spring contact 40 disposed in a longitudinally aligned or otherwise associated slot 38 along the cavity 16 (for example, the slot 38b). This may be achieved by forming the spaced apart spring contacts 40 in the slots 38a and 38b as integral portions of a single electrically conductive metallic strip. Alternatively, the spring contacts 40 in the access cavities 14 and 16 may be electrically insulated from each other. Each of the access cavities 14 and 16 also includes an elongated, inclined, insertion surface 42, a bottom surface 44, an inwardly protruding shoulder, stop or limit surface 46, and a vertically extending surface 48 disposed between the inclined surface 42 and the bottom surface 44.
  • Since the configuration and operation of the spring contacts 40 disposed in the slots 38 along the cavities 14 and 16 are essentially the same. only one such spring contact 40 is discussed -in detail hereinafter. Each spring contact 40 is stamped and integrally formed to have a rounded continuously curved configuration with first and second free ends 50 and 52 having contact surfaces disposed at different elevations in its cavity 14, 16, for respectively contacting conductive pads or strips 54 and 56 disposed along opposite sides of an insertable edge 58 of the printed circuit board 12, a central portion 41 disposed between said free ends 50 and 52 and a mounting leg 43 extending from said central portion. By disposing the contact surfaces 50 and 52 at different elevations within the slot 38 in the cavity 14, 16, corresponding respectively to the elevational dispositions of the surface 48 and of the surface 46, the printed circuit board 12 may be inserted at an angle (Fig. 2) to its final or contact position (Fig. 3) in the cavity 14. The insertion angle or orientation of the printed circuit board 12 is generally parallel to the angle or orientation of the inclined surface 42. In this manner, low or zero insertion force is required to insert the edge 58 into the cavity 14, thereby minimizing undesirable wear on the conductive strips 54 and 56 and the spring contacts 40. The inclined surface 42 may be used as a guide surface for the insertion of the printed circuit board 12.
  • The mounting legs 43 of the contacts 40 resiliently mount the contacts 43 for freedom of movement and after insertion of the printed circuit board 12, the printed circuit board may be pivoted or rotated about the contacting portion 50 or the surface 48 until it assumes a final or contact position (FIG. 3) in which position the printed circuit board 12 rests against the bottom surface 44 and its lateral edges 32 and 34 are retained in the cavities 36 in the spaced apart posts 20 and 22. In this final or contact position, the contacting portions 50 and 52 are resiliently deflected outwardly from the center of the cavity 14 by their respective engagements with the conductive strips 54 and 56. The configuration of the spring 40 and of its contacting portions 50 and 52 is such as to provide a relatively high contact force between the contacting portions 50 and 52 and the conductive strips 54 and 56.
  • The deflection of the contacting portion 52, disposed at the same elevation and in an overlying relationship with the surface 46, and the resultant stress imparted to the spring contact 40 is limited by the stop or limit surface 46. That is, the contacting portion 52 cannot be deflected beyond the inwardly extending limit surface 46 since the limit surface 46 will physically engage the edge 58 of the printed circuit board 12 to limit its pivotable or rotational movement within the cavity 14. By aligning the vertically extending interior surfaces 60 (FIGS. 2 and 3) of each post 20, 22, 24, 26 with the stop or limit surface 46, the pivotal or rotational movement of longitudinally extending portions of the lateral edges 32 and 34 disposed above the cavity 14 is also limited. The vertically extending surface 48 may also serve as a stop or limit surface to control or limit the amount of deflection of the contacting portion 50 of the spring contact 40 since the contacting portion 50 is similarly disposed generally at the same elevation and in an overlying relationship with the surface 48.
  • A low insertion force electrical connector 10 has been described for making effective and reliable high contact force electrical connection with a printed circuit board 12 while reducing or preventing the possibility of overstressing the spring contacts 40 of the electrical connector 10.
  • Rather than being formed as an uninterrupted surface, the stop or limit surface 46 (and, if desired, the surfaces 42 and/or 48) may be formed as a plurality of spaced apart stops or limit surfaces 46 associated with each slot 38 and each contacting portion 5.2. In addition, the precise configuration of the spring contacts 40 may be modified to achieve desired spring and contact characteristics.

Claims (4)

1. An electrical connector (10) for a printed circuit board (12) having a mating edge (58) with α-plurality of contact pads (54, 56) adjacent said edge, said connector including an elongated dielectric housing (13) with a cavity (14; 16) formed along its length for receiving the printed circuit board mating edge, a plurality of spring contacts (40) mounted in the housing to engage the printed circuit board contact pads when the printed circuit board is inserted in the cavity at a first angular position and subsequently pivoted to a second angular position, wherein each of said spring contacts (40) is stamped and integrally formed to have a rounded continuously curved configuration, said housing further including an integrally formed limit surface (46; 48) disposed immediately adjacent said spring contacts (40) and said printed circuit board contact pads (54, 56) when said printed circuit board (12) is inserted in said cavity (14; 16) said limit surface being arranged to directly physically contact said printed circuit board mating edge (58) to limit deflection of said spring contacts characterized in that each of said spring contacts (40) has first and second free ends (50, 52) having contact surfaces disposed at first and second elevations at respective sides of said cavity (14; 16) to make electrical contact with contact pads (54, 56) disposed on respective first and second opposed surfaces of said printed circuit board (12), said free ends being disposed on the respective ends of a central, generally C-shaped portion (41) of the contact (40) the contact further including a mounting leg (43) extending downwardly from the central portion (41) intermediate the ends thereof and providing the sole support for said C-shaped portion, whereby said C-shaped portion (41) is resiliently mounted to have freedom of movement as the printed circuit board (12) is pivoted in said cavity between said first and second angular positions, said integrally formed limit surface (46; 48) directly physically contacting that one of the opposed surfaces of the printed circuit board (12) contacted by one free end of said C-shaped portion (41) to limit the deflection of said one free end of said C-shaped portion in a direction away from its other free end and in that said housing(13) has a further one of said limit surfaces (46, 48) which directly physically contacts the other of the opposed surfaces of the printed circuit board (12) to limit the deflection of the other free end of said C-shaped portion (41) in a direction away from said one free end thereof.
2. An electrical connector as claimed in claim 1 wherein said cavity includes an inclined surface (42) disposed at an angle to the limit surface (46) associated with the free ends of the C-shaped portions of the contacts disposed at the higher level in said cavity and generally spaced apart therefrom across the opening to said cavity (14; 16).
3. An electrical connector as claimed in claim 1 wherein said housing (13) further comprises means (20, 22, 24, 26) for retaining said printed circuit board (12) in a contact position in which position said spring contacts (40) electrically contact said pads (54, 56) of said printed circuit board (12).
4. An electrical connector as claimed in claim 3 wherein said retaining means comprises a pair of spaced apart latches (28) disposed above said cavity for retaining said printed circuit board in said contact position.
EP19850301007 1984-04-06 1985-02-15 Low insertion force electrical connector with stress controlled contacts Expired - Lifetime EP0158413B1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US59733384A true 1984-04-06 1984-04-06
US597333 1984-04-06

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP0158413A2 EP0158413A2 (en) 1985-10-16
EP0158413A3 EP0158413A3 (en) 1987-04-29
EP0158413B1 true EP0158413B1 (en) 1990-01-31

Family

ID=24391079

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP19850301007 Expired - Lifetime EP0158413B1 (en) 1984-04-06 1985-02-15 Low insertion force electrical connector with stress controlled contacts

Country Status (5)

Country Link
EP (1) EP0158413B1 (en)
JP (1) JPS60230378A (en)
CA (1) CA1225708A (en)
DE (1) DE3575819D1 (en)
SG (1) SG33092G (en)

Families Citing this family (23)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPS61206187A (en) * 1985-03-08 1986-09-12 Minnesota Mining Mfg Sumitomo Non-insertion input type card edge connector
US4577922A (en) * 1985-04-04 1986-03-25 Molex Incorporated Laminated electrical connector arrangement
GB8521843D0 (en) * 1985-09-03 1985-10-09 Bicc Plc Circuit board connector
US4610082A (en) * 1985-11-20 1986-09-09 Molex Incorporated Automated edge connector assembly
JPH059827Y2 (en) * 1986-05-02 1993-03-10
US4737120A (en) * 1986-11-12 1988-04-12 Amp Incorporated Electrical connector with low insertion force and overstress protection
US4718859A (en) * 1987-03-16 1988-01-12 Molex Incorporated Zero insertion force connector for flexible flat cable
JPH0436067Y2 (en) * 1987-07-09 1992-08-26
US4832617A (en) * 1988-03-31 1989-05-23 Foxx Conn International, Inc. Circuit board socket, contact and method of manufacture
US4826446A (en) * 1988-05-04 1989-05-02 Burndy Corporation Electrical contact pins and assemblies
JPH073582Y2 (en) * 1989-01-18 1995-01-30 Contact terminal and low insertion force connector
US4986765A (en) * 1989-02-21 1991-01-22 Amp Incorporated Insertable latch means for use in an electrical connector
US5002494A (en) * 1989-05-09 1991-03-26 Amp Incorporated Printed circuit board edge connector
AT132661T (en) * 1989-06-02 1996-01-15 Whitaker Corp PCB SOCKET WITH CLOVER CONTACT
GB2237151A (en) * 1989-09-14 1991-04-24 Silitek Corp A resilient connector capable of being inserted into a printed circuit board
JP2704300B2 (en) 1989-10-06 1998-01-26 日本エー・エム・ピー株式会社 Edge connector contacts
DE3942289C1 (en) * 1989-12-21 1991-05-29 Stocko Metallwarenfabriken Henkels Und Sohn Gmbh & Co, 5600 Wuppertal, De
JPH0424292U (en) * 1990-06-22 1992-02-27
US5026297A (en) * 1990-06-28 1991-06-25 Molex Incorporated Electrical socket assembly for single in-line circuit package
DE4110386C2 (en) * 1991-03-28 1994-08-11 Hirschmann Richard Gmbh Co Connectors
US5203725A (en) * 1992-03-16 1993-04-20 Molex Incorporated Biased edge card connector
JP3051313B2 (en) * 1994-12-09 2000-06-12 ヒロセ電機株式会社 Electrical connector
DE102008049232A1 (en) * 2008-09-27 2010-04-01 Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft Recording unit for a circuit carrier, connection system, electrical machine with recording unit and motor vehicle with such electrical machine

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US3701071A (en) * 1971-01-18 1972-10-24 Berg Electronics Inc Hinge type circuit board connector block
US3795888A (en) * 1972-06-30 1974-03-05 Motorola Inc Printed circuit board edge connector requiring zero insertion force
US3848952A (en) * 1973-07-27 1974-11-19 Amp Inc Zero insertion force edge card connector
US3920303A (en) * 1973-08-20 1975-11-18 Ind Electronic Hardware Corp Low force insertion connector
DE2537281C3 (en) * 1975-08-21 1979-08-02 Siemens Ag, 1000 Berlin Und 8000 Muenchen Conductor structure for direct plugging of thin-film hybrid circuits in female connectors
DE2557042A1 (en) * 1975-12-18 1977-06-23 Hartmann & Braun Ag Contacting device with spring strip - is for making contact with circuit boards and is provided with contacts on one edge
DE2621984C3 (en) * 1976-05-18 1978-12-14 Preh Elektrofeinmechanische Werke Jakob Preh Nachf., 8740 Bad Neustadt
DE2654368A1 (en) * 1976-12-01 1978-06-08 Telefonbau & Normalzeit Gmbh Connector for printed circuit board - has row of spring contact arms in base, against which boards pads rest due to weight of board
JPS5758033B2 (en) * 1979-01-29 1982-12-07 Yazaki Sogyo Kk

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
EP0158413A3 (en) 1987-04-29
EP0158413A2 (en) 1985-10-16
CA1225708A (en) 1987-08-18
DE3575819D1 (en) 1990-03-08
SG33092G (en) 1992-05-22
JPS60230378A (en) 1985-11-15

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