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Integral Self-Alignment Features for Connectors

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000101005D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-16
Document File: 5 page(s) / 164K

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Related People

Corfits, WD: AUTHOR [+1]


Described is a method of providing self-centering features on "DIN" (Deutsche Industrie Norm) style connectors.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

Integral Self-Alignment Features for Connectors

       Described is a method of providing self-centering
features on "DIN" (Deutsche Industrie Norm) style connectors.

      With this design, the possibility of connector or contact
damage stemming from connector misalignment during plugging is
eliminated, self-centering of the connectors is ensured--a feature
that is highly desirable in applications where the connectors are
hidden from view, and physical alignment features are added to only
one half of the connector pair (thus minimizing the amount of new
part numbers that must be released and tooled).  Most importantly,
the system is both upward and downward compatible.  This allows a
connector half either with or without the added feature to be plugged
to its mating half, giving the system flexibility not found in
self-aligning connector designs where physical features are added to
both connector halves.  Finally, one half of the connector pair is
not modified--release of a new part number or new tooling is not
necessary for this connector half.

      Referring to Fig. 1, an electronic logic card 1 is provided
with connector half 2 and protective covers 3 including integral
guide features 4.  The design is such that a similar, but smaller,
electronic logic card 5 with mating connector half 6 and protective
covers 7 can be connected to logic card 1 by sliding it into the
opening in card covers 3 on guides 4 until connector halves 2 and 6
are mated.  A latching mechanism is also shown in Fig. 1. Referring
to the inset in Fig. 1, it will be noted that there is significant
clearance between guides 4 and covers 7.  This is a requirement of
the guiding system in that sufficient room must be allowed to allow
the cards to plug under all worst case tolerance conditions of the
cards, connectors, and card covers.  A problem is created, however,
in that the clearance allows the smaller card to "tip" slightly on
entry, yielding the situation shown in Fig. 2.  Here, two "DIN"-style
connectors are shown at the point of engagement with connector half 6
biased downward to the lower guide in the cover (not shown in the
figure for clarity) due to gravity and tipped due to the action of
the latch mechanism (also not shown in the figure).  Normally, small
misalignments are corrected for by integral bevels 8 which are a
standard feature on off-the-shelf "DIN"- style connectors.  Note,
however, that the angular misalignment has put contact pins 9 on
connector half 2 in contact with the divider 10 between the contact
socket openings on connector half 6--as connector half 6 is engaged
with connector half 2, it attempts to self-center by riding up on
bevels 8; in the process, pins 9 are bent due to their contact with