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IMPROVED CONNECTOR LATCH SYSTEM FOR FUTURE ULTRASOUND TRANSDUCERS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000029831D
Publication Date: 2004-Jul-14
Document File: 4 page(s) / 169K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Vaughn Marian: INVENTOR

Abstract

Connectors, capable of supporting advanced ultrasound transducers, require significant electronics and mechanical components located within the transducer assembly. Existing connectors have very limited volume within their housing. By moving the locking and latching functions from a location within the connector housing to a location outside, the required volume required for these components is made available.

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Page 1 of 4

Our Docket No.: 2004J09969

Title: IMPROVED CONNECTOR LATCH SYSTEM FOR FUTURE ULTRASOUND TRANSDUCERS

Inventor(s): Vaughn Marian

Page 2 of 4

Detailed Description

* Abstract: Connectors, capable of supporting advanced ultrasound transducers, require significant electronics and mechanical components located within the transducer assembly. Existing connectors have very limited volume within their housing. By moving the locking and latching functions from a location within the connector housing to a location outside, the required volume required for these components is made available.

* Background Information:

The latch system causes the torque applied to the locking handle by the operator to be converted to force that is required for compression of the multitude of individual electrical contacts. When compressed, these contacts provide the required electrical interconnection between the transducer assembly and the ultrasound Imaging system.

* The latch system converts rotary motion of a latch shaft to axial displacement of the shaft through use of rollers on a helical cam surface. Compression springs are used to convert the axial shaft displacement to clamping force. Features incorporated into the distal end of the rotating latch shaft mechanically fasten the connector to the imaging system.

* On all existing products, the latch and locking assembly is located within the transducer housing, generally near the center of the connector. Since the latch assembly requires a significant quantity of components for its function, the volume occupied is a relatively large fraction of that available within the transducer housing.

* By moving the latch and locking functions to a location outside the housing, additional circuitry (i.e. printed wiring board assemblies) can be accommodated within the housing.

* Details:

The attached drawings describe 2 different approaches to exploiting the available volume, outside the housing, for the clamping and locking mechanism. Both use the space within the locking knob as well as the space within the housing extension to accommodate the required components.

Figure #1 shows a cross section of two connectors, a production connector as well as the new design. In both cases, rotation of the shaft (perhaps 30 degrees) causes the rollers at the distal end of the shaft to engage the helical cam within the imaging system (not illustrated). Continued rotation (up to a total of 100 degrees) causes the cam to pull the shaft towards the system. A stack of spring washers (or Belleville washers) within the latch housing causes this displacement to generate an axial clamping force that pulls the entire connector toward the system. As the connector board moves towards the system, It compresses contacts between its interconnect pads, and similar pads within the imaging system. The force generated by the spring washers is equal to all the compressive...