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Connector Well Integrated Strain-Relief Feature For Portable Electronic Devices Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021997D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Feb-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Feb-18

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Power and data cords connected to laptop computers and other portable electronic devices typically feature inadequate strain-relief support, thus limiting the value of their very portability. Once cords are connected to the device, any movement of the laptop or of adjacent objects against it can subject the cord connectors to unacceptable levels of strain. Connectors can also be subjected to strain if someone trips on a cord, or if the cord becomes entangled, e.g. in office chair casters, etc. Connectors protrude from the device with little or no mechanical protection against jarring, moving, bumping, including when the device is used on the lap as the name would imply. As a result, the connectors may become damaged, thereby impairing reliable operation, introducing intermittent errors, at times unbeknownst to the user. Connections may become broken, thereby interrupting data transmission altogether. This exposure is unnecessary and unacceptable. Solutions are either nonexistent or fall short of providing an adequate level of strain relief, i.e. protection to connectors. What is needed is simple, mechanically robust, solid protected connection. The proposed invention addresses this lack by providing adequate strain relief without the use of additional devices or external attachments that must be separately attached, or which can easily become lost. The proposed solution is based on a system of recessing the connectors partially or completely within wells integrated into the device casing. Surrounded by the walls of the wells in the device casing, each connection is completely protected against various forms of strain, such as described above.