INTEGRAL FLEX CABLE STIFFENER/HANDLE/GUIDE WITH ALIGNMENT FEATURES
Original Publication Date: 2000-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Standard flex cables often use FR-4 stiffeners under connectors to provide rigidity to the flex cable in the solder joint area. This invention incorporates a molded plastic stiffener/handle/guide which is designed to provide the rigidity of the FR-4 while solving plugging, unplugging and alignment issues. The stiffener/handle/guide is typically a molded plastic part. For medium to large volumes this is a cost effective alternative to FR-4 stiffeners. Even at low volumes molded stiffeners/handle/guide expenses are not out of line with the benefits. Machined or model parts could be used for low volume requirements. The stiffener/handle/guide is designed to provide areas off the pin field to press on for connector insertion. Pressing on the pin field can damage the flex, damage connectors or irritate/injure fingers. The stiffener/handle/guide is designed with finger features to allow one to grab onto the stiffener/handle/guide/connector for removal. This will reduce flex cable damage during removal.