Title:
MINIATURE CONNECTOR
United States Patent 3581272


Abstract:
Pin contact, of a miniature connector, made as a stamping from a single piece, having a pair of cantilever contact elements together forming a pin member.



Inventors:
Yopp, Robert S. (Naperville, IL)
Kraft, Melvin G. (Bellwood, IL)
Application Number:
04/786189
Publication Date:
05/25/1971
Filing Date:
12/23/1968
Assignee:
BUNKER-ROMO CORP.:THE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H01R13/05; (IPC1-7): H01R11/22
Field of Search:
339/252 113
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:



Foreign References:
GB319837A
Primary Examiner:
Champion, Marvin A.
Assistant Examiner:
Mcglynn, Joseph H.
Claims:
We claim

1. A pin contact of the character disclosed including a stamping providing a single integral piece incorporating the elements and relationships recited hereinafter, the pin contact being of overall generally tubular shape, and including a body portion generally round in cross section and having a longitudinal parting line at one side, a pair of cantilever contact elements together forming a pin member extending longitudinally from the body portion, the contact elements together being of substantially less circumferential extent than the body portion, and extending from opposed elements of the body portion on opposite sides of the parting line, the contact elements being generally cylindrical in cross section, the contact elements being generally cylindrical in cross section, the contact elements being self biased outwardly to a position in which they diverge outwardly, and having inturned inclined elements at their outer ends, the inclined elements being of a length substantially less than the overall length of the contact elements thereby forming high points for electrical engagement closely adjacent the outer ends of the contact elements, the inclined elements being disposed at an acute angle to the main portion of the contact elements and extending toward each other but being offset from each other angularly of the device and their inner ends effectively overlapping in radial direction, forming a tapered tip at the outer end of the pin member effective for camming the pin member into a socket from a position slightly misaligned therefrom.

2. A pin contact according to claim 1 in conjunction with a contact sleeve of uniform cylindrical and fixed construction.

3. A pin contact including an elongated body portion and a pair of cantilever contact elements free of connection to each other extending longitudinally from the body portion, the contact elements together forming a pin member and being independently self-biased radially apart, and normally spaced apart and movable toward and from each other effectively about transverse axes at their inner ends at their points of connection with the body portion, the contact elements at their extended ends having inwardly inclined elements together forming a tapered point, and forming high points for electrical engagement adjacent thereto, the inclined elements being short relative to the overall length of the contact elements and the high points being thereby positioned closely adjacent the extended ends of the pin member, and the inclined elements effectively overlapping each other considered diametrically of the pin member but being offset angularly whereby to enable free inward movement of the outer ends of the contact elements toward each other substantially without reference from each other.

4. A pin contact having a longitudinal axis and including an elongated body portion and a pair of cantilever contact elements free of connection to each other extending longitudinally from the body portion and being independently self-biased radially apart at their extended ends, and also at their extended ends having elements inclined toward each other and forming a tapered point, said elements being relatively offset circumferentially and overlapping in radial direction, the interfacing surfaces of said elements being disposed closely adjacent a diametrical line whereby to enable said elements to effectively bypass each other in generally radially inward movements in response to contracting movements of the contact elements in radial direction, and thereby eliminate positive stop therebetween and enable maximum such movement of the said elements and corresponding contracting movements of the contact elements.

5. A pin contact according to claim 4 wherein the contact elements at their extended ends adjacent the inclined portions thereof are curved in circumferential direction about the central longitudinal axis of the pin contact.

Description:
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a miniature connector of the kind having a pin contact and a socket contact and is directed particularly to the pin contact component of such connector.

A broad object of the invention is to provide a simple and inexpensive pin contact having flexing contact elements and made as a stamping from a single piece of metal.

Another object is to provide a pin contact of the character just referred to in which the contact elements are of cantilever form and thereby possess increased flexibility, resulting in more effective contact engagement with the socket contact.

Another object is to provide a pin contact having a pin member with an effective point of electrical contact engagement adjacent its outer end, which thereby increases the range of effective mating with the counterpart socket contact.

Still another object is to provide a pin contact having a pin member made up of a pair of contact elements having effectively overlapping elements at their extreme outer ends forming a novel form of tapered tip effective for improving mating pickup.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a pin contact made according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view from a 90° angle relative to that of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an end view taken at line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken at line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a partial view of the pin contact, oriented according to FIG. 1, and its relation to a socket contact and in initial position in mating the contacts; and

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but with the contacts interconnected, but not fully into their final position.

Referring in detail to the drawings, the pin contact of the invention is indicated at 10, and a socket contact with which it is associated is shown fragmentarily at 12. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, a plurality of pin contacts are incorporated in a connector plug and a similar number of socket contacts are incorporated in a counterpart connector plug, and upon connecting the plugs together, the pin contacts enter into the socket contacts, in a known manner.

The pin contact 10 of the invention is made as a stamping, as by a punch press operation, from a single piece of metal, or blank, and all of the elements thereof are accordingly integral, the stamped piece being formed into a generally tubular member which forms the pin contact. This pin contact includes a body portion 14 preferably round in cross section, and a pin portion or member 16. The body portion 14 is utilized for securing the pin contact to a conductor (not shown) in the usual manner, as by crimping, soldering etc. In the stamping and shaping operation, the body portion 14 is left with a longitudinal parting line 18 on one side.

The pin portion or member 16 is made up of a pair of contact elements 20 extending longitudinally from the body portion and specifically from opposed elements of the body portion on opposite sides of the parting line 18. The contact elements 20 extend in cantilever, free floating fashion from the end of the body member, and are cylindrical or arcuate in cross section, similarly to the arcuate shape of the body member at the points of juncture therewith. The contact elements 20 are the same or symmetrical and at their outer ends are provided with generally inwardly inclined elements 22 disposed at acute angle to the direction of the main parts 23 of the contact elements. They are relatively offset diametrically, or angularly, as shown in FIG. 3, and each extends radially inwardly beyond the longitudinal centerline of the pin contact, and thus they at least partially overlap. The curvature of the contact elements 20 about that longitudinal centerline, is carried forwardly and into the inclined elements 22 so that the latter are also curved about that longitudinal line, but they may be relatively straight in the direction of the angle referred to. The inclined elements 22 form high points 24 at the juncture of those elements with the main parts 23, forming main points of electrical engagement with the socket contact. These points, it will be noted, are closely adjacent the outer or extended end of the pin member as will be referred to again hereinbelow.

The contact elements 20 are self biased radially outwardly away from each other, the resulting outward movement taking place most pronouncedly in the outer ends, the movement of the contact elements thus being effectively about transverse axes at the points of juncture with the body portion 14. In their normal unrestrained position, they diverge outwardly.

While the tips of the inclined elements 22 overlap, this overlapping relation need not be complete, and due to the normal thickness of the elements, the overlap may be formed by the inner points thereof, and even if a slight V-shaped notch may be left as indicated at 26, this is negligible from the standpoint of effectiveness of the overlap for inserting the pin member 16 into the socket contact. The socket contact 12 includes a sleeve or contact proper 28 incorporated into the plug referred to above and here identified at 30, which is secured to a conductor (not shown) in the usual way. The sleeve may have an outwardly tapered, or slight bell-shaped, entrance end 32. The end of the sleeve 28 is preferably spaced from the end of the socket contact 30 and the latter is provided with a chamfered or conical entrance surface 33, which with the surface 32 form a somewhat continuous, although two-step, lead-in surface for guiding the pin contact into the socket contact.

In inserting the pin contact into the socket contact the pin contact is positioned as represented in FIG. 5 and then moved into the socket contact. Usually the pin member 16 is well aligned with the sleeve or socket, but it may be slightly misaligned as shown in FIG. 5, as indicated by the relative displacement between the centerline 34 of the socket contact and the centerline 36 of the pin contact. If it is so slightly misaligned, one or the other of the inclined elements 22 engages the edge of the contact sleeve and the respective contact element 20 is moved radially inwardly toward the other, and if all of the pin contacts in the connector are accurately spaced, all of them would be slightly offset as represented in FIG. 5, and the movement of the corresponding contact elements 20 of all of the contact members would have the effect of moving or shifting the complete connector, to align all the pin members with the contact sleeves. However if it should happen that less than all the contact members 16 are slightly misaligned, the corresponding contact elements 20 themselves would be fixed so that the pin members 16 would be easily inserted into the sleeves. The transversely rounded shape of the contact elements 20 also assists in aligning them with the sleeves.

In the inserting operation, the inclined elements 22 of course first engage the end of the inner surface of the sleeve, or if slightly misaligned, one of them engages one side of the surface 33, and the sleeve "rides up" the inclined elements until the high points 24 themselves engage the inner surface of the sleeve 28. These high points are closely adjacent the outer end of the pin member, as referred to, and upon a very slight entry of the pin member into the sleeve, full and effective contact engagement is established between these high points and the surface of the sleeve, it not being necessary for full-length insertion of the pin member into the sleeve for effective electrical engagement therebetween. This contact engagement continues throughout the full movement of insertion of the pin member into the sleeve which is the greater part of the length of the pin member, thereby increasing the electrical mating range, this range being of course the full length of the pin member from the points 24 to the juncture of the contact elements 20 with the body, or possibly slightly therebeyond. The contact elements 20 may be shaped so that the contact engagement between the pin member 16 and the sleeve 28 remains at the points 24 with the contact elements 20 being slightly diverging outwardly even in fully connected position, or they may be shaped and proportioned so that together they form a cylinder when in connected position as represented in FIG. 6, so that the contact engagement between the pin member and the sleeve extends substantially throughout the pin member.

The effective overlap of the inclined elements 22 prevents any snagging or catching of the contact elements with the outer end edge of the sleeve, resulting in effective entry of the pin member into the sleeve.

Due to the offset relation of the inclined elements 22, neither interferes with the inward movement of the other upon inward flexing or movement of the contact element. The cantilever mounting of the contact elements 20 provides greater flexibility thereof, with consequent more effective electrical engagement with the sleeve. The pin contact being made from a single integral piece results in an extremely simple device which is correspondingly inexpensive, and this is in extreme contrast to pin contacts heretofore made which were most often made of three individual elements secured together. The construction renders it practicable to utilize a simple, uniform and fixed socket contact sleeve, with added economy.