1. A connector for a flat multiple conductor strip, said connector comprising a pair of opposed plate members, means for detachably interconnecting said plate members, means on said plate members for receiving a terminal portion of said strip therebetween, a plurality of contact members, means on said plate members for locating said contact members in respective alignment with the terminal ends of said conductors, and means on said plate members for retaining said contact members against movement relative thereto, said last-mentioned means comprising a series of projections extending from the inner face of one plate member and a series of projections extending from the inner face of the other plate member, each of said contact members being formed with a recess, said projections on said plate members being located whereby each projection on one plate member in paired relation to a projection on the other plate member is received in and fills the recess of a contact member.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Flat conductor strip lines are known in the art; the same being made up of a plurality of flat rolled conductors of copper or other suitable metal or alloy. Such conductor strips have high flexibility, good heat conduction and excellent current conductivity. The conductor strips are insulated from each other and maintained in parallel relation by dielectric foil in enclosing relation to the spaced strips.
Such lines must be provided with terminal connectors of either the plug or socket type. In the case of conventional wire conductors of circular cross section, each wire is individually soldered, welded or gripped by the respective connector elements of a conventional connector plug or socket. This procedure can also be applied to the flat conductor strip lines, although with the usual large number of strips in such conductor lines, production costs are excessive.
Further, with such strip lines, each conductor must have terminal portions of insulation removed to expose the conductor. This requires insulation stripping devices having heated knives for cutting the insulation, followed by peeling the insulating foil. Since residual insulation is left on the conductors, the same is removed by dipping in a bath of phosphoric acid at a temperature of about 100° C. Such technique requires special care inasmuch as harmful chemicals are involved and production rates are relatively slow and expensive.
Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide an improved connector for flat conductor strip lines, which can be assembled with the terminal end portion of the line in a relatively simple manner, with high rates of production at reduced production costs.
Another object of this invention is to provide a connector of the character described, which is flat and of minimal thickness so as to have dimensions close to the dimensions of the terminal portion of the strip line.
A further object of this invention is to provide a connector of the character described, wherein assembly of the same with the terminal portion of the strip line is facilitated and the contact elements of the connector are readily joined to the respective conductors of the strip line.
Other objects of this invention will in part be obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
FIG. 1 is a plan view showing the assembly of a multiconductor strip of the flat type and a connector therefor embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the connector in its open condition.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
As shown in the drawing and particularly, FIGS. 1 and 2, 10 designates a flat connector plug embodying the invention. The same provides connector terminal means for a flat conductor strip generally indicated at 11. Strip 11 comprises a plurality of thin, flat conductors, formed of rolled copper or other suitable conductive metal or material. For the purpose of illustration, four such conductors are shown at 12, 13, 14 and 15; although there actually may be as many as 15 or more such conductors.
The conductors 12-15 are arranged in parallel, and insulated from each other by dielectric foils 16, 17, all in a manner known in the art. When strip 11 is to be assembled with connector 10, the terminal portion 18 of said strip 11 is cut transversely in a precise straight line, as by suitable punching or cutting devices, which also exposes the ends of conductors 12-15.
Connector 10 comprises a pair of molded synthetic resin plates 19, 20 of rectangular shape and interconnected by hinge members 21, for movement from a separated, open condition, to an opposed, closed condition, with terminal portion 18 of strip 11 engaged therebetween.
Connector plate 19 is recessed on its inner face, as at 22, and plate 20 is recessed on its inner face, as at 23, to thereby receive in the opposed recesses the terminal portion 18 of strip 11. The plates 19, 20 are held together in their closed condition by studs 24 on plate 19 which are frictionally received in registering recesses 25 on plate 20.
The strip 11 is formed with openings 26 located between conductors 12, 13; and 14, 15; plate 20 having projections 27 on its inner face for registering with said openings 26 in strip 11, to thereby locate the strip and retain the same against longitudinal movement.
Blade contacts 12A-15A are located between plates 19, 20 in respective alignment with conductors 12-15. Plate 19 is recessed at 28 and plate 20 is recessed at 29, to receive in the paired, opposed recesses, the blade contacts 12A-15A. Each of the blade contacts 12A-15A is formed with a rectangular notch 30 along one edge thereof.
Plate 19 is formed with projections 31 receivable in notches 30 of blade contacts 12A-15A and incompletely filling said notches. Plate 20 is formed with projections 32 located to be received in the remainder of incompletely filled notches 30, when the plates 19, 20 are in their closed condition. Thus, each pair of projections 31, 32 serves to locate and retain the respective blade contacts 12A-15A against movement.
The contacts 12A-15A may be preassembled with conductors 12-15, before assembly with connector 10. To this end, the contacts 12A-15a and conductors 12-15 of terminal portion 18 of strip 11, are arranged in a suitable jig, not shown, with proper spacing of the conductors 12-15 and contacts 12A-15A corresponding to the spacing in connector 10. Also, each of the contacts are in abutting end relation to the forward ends of the conductors.
At this time, strip 11 may be formed with openings 26 in the dielectric foils 16, 17, between the paired conductors 12, 13 and 14, 15. The formation of openings 26 also exposes small portions of said conductors at the rim of said openings. This allows welding electrodes, not shown, to be inserted therein for electrical contact with the conductors. The other electrodes of the welding means, not shown, are applied to contact blades 12A-15A, so that suitable current impulses are effective to weld each of conductors 12, 15 to the corresponding contact blades 12A-15A.
The completed preassembly of conductors and contact blades, may now be disposed between plates 19, 20, as described above; the plates then being closed and retained in a closed condition by the studs 24 received in openings 25.
It is understood that the conductors 12-15 and blades 12A-15A may be interconnected or welded by other known procedures, in which the openings 26 in strip 11 are not involved. In lieu of locking studs 24, the hinges 21 may be spring loaded to retain the plates 19, 20 in their closed condition.