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ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY WITH A CONNECTOR MATING ASSURANCE (CMA) MEMBERS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202168D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-07

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

An electrical connector assembly includes a first and a second electrical connectors (5, 300). The second electrical connector comprises a housing (10), a wire (22), a lock insurance member (115) and a blocking member (60). A locking member (40) can move to lock the wire (22) in the housing (10), or release it. The lock insurance member (115) can move between a lock insurance position wherein the first and second electrical connectors (5, 300) can be locked to one another, and a lock preventing position wherein such locking is prevented. The blocking member (60) can move between a pre-assembled position wherein a movement of the locking member (40) is allowed and a movement of the lock insurance member (115) is prevented and a fully assembled position wherein such movement of the locking member is prevented and such movement of the lock insurance member (115) between its two positions is allowed. Figure 1

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ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY WITH A CONNECTOR MATING
ASSURANCE (CMA) MEMBERS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

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    The invention relates in general to electrical, optical
or opto-electrical connectors and, more particularly, to a
connector assembly with a connector mating assurance (CMA)
member.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

    Connector assemblies have long been known to comprise a
first and a second connector which are complementary matable.
This would allow connection between two appliances, in

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particular electrical and/or optical connection.

    In particular, some kind of electrical connectors have
one or more electrical ways. In such case, it is common that
electrically conducting contacts, each connected to a cable,
are inserted in a corresponding receptacle of an electrically

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insulating housing. During insertion, each electrical
contact deflects a locking lance, which moves back toward its
rest position when the electrical contact is fully inserted.
In this position, the contact is locked in the receptacle.

Recently, so-called "terminal position insurance

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devices" have been developed. Before inserting the contacts,
this insurance device normally is in an intermediate
position. The conception of the insurance device is such
that, when all the electrical contacts are fully inserted,
this device can be moved respective to the housing between

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the intermediate position and a fully-locked position. In
its fully-locked position, it works as an overlocking device,
by preventing the locking lance from moving back to its


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deflected state, and thus the cable from being pulled away
from the connector. Further, in its fully-locked position,
the insurance device does not interfere with the mating of
the two electrical connectors of the assembly. However, in
its intermediate position, the insurance device will

interfere with the mating movement of the two electrical
connectors, to thereby prevent their mating. Hence, it is
ensured that the mating of the two electrical connectors will
be allowed only if all the cables have been correctly placed.

An example of such an electrical connector assembly is

known from US 7,044,806, which is incorporated herein by
reference in its entirety for all purposes.

    This function is very satisfactory. However, there
remains a problem in that the insurance device might be
placed in its locking position during handling of the

connector, before the insertion of any contact. This is
problematic since later insertion of the contacts while the
insurance device is locked might deteriorate one or more
parts of the connector.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

    In accordance with one aspect of the present invention,
one provides a first electrical connector, having a first
locking feature and a first mating portion. One also provides

a second electrical connector having a second locking
feature. The first and second locking features cooperate to
lock the first and second electrical connectors together in a
fully mated position. The second electr...