PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP0584416 21.03.1996
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0584416
Titel Elektrische Verbinder
Anmelder Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd., Chofu, Tokio/Tokyo, JP
Erfinder Koshikawa, Kiyoshi, Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken, JP;
Fujieda, Hiroyuki, Mito-shi, Ibaraki-ken, JP;
Konno, Takeshi, Higashiibaraki-gun, Ibaraki-ken, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69208251
Vertragsstaaten DE, ES, FR, GB
Sprache des Dokument En
EP-Anmeldetag 28.08.1992
EP-Aktenzeichen 923078976
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 02.03.1994
EP date of grant 07.02.1996
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 21.03.1996
IPC-Hauptklasse H01R 13/648

Beschreibung[en]

This invention relates to a connector having a socket connector element having a socket terminal and a plug connector element having a plug terminal opposed to the socket terminal.

A conventional connector of this type will be described with reference to Fig. 25. In Fig. 25, reference numeral 1 denotes a socket connector. The socket connector 1 has a molded body 2, a plurality of socket terminals 3 each having a base portion 3a mounted in a groove in the rear portion (left side in the drawing) of the molded body 2, and a cover 4 mounted on the molded body 2. Each socket terminal 3 is formed of a leaf spring to have elasticity, and formed to be bent upwards at its intermediate portion to form a contact portion 5. The cover 4 is formed of synthetic resin, and mounted vertically movably with respect to the molded body 2. The cover 4 covers the upper surface of the molded body 2, and is biased upwardly by a spring 6. Accordingly, when the socket connector 1 is not used, the cover 4 prevents the socket terminals 3 from being deformed or damaged due to an external collision. Further, a window 7 is provided at the position of the contact portion 5 of the socket terminal 3 in the cover 4.

When the plug connector 8 is slid from the side on the upper surface of the cover 4, the cover 4 is moved down to expose the contact portion 5 of the socket terminal 3 from the window 7, for contact with the plug terminal 9 of the plug connector 8.

Since the cover 4 is formed of synthetic resin, when a human being carrying a static charge approaches the socket connector 1, static electricity is discharged to the socket terminal 3, and an electronic component such as an IC, etc., connected to the socket terminal might be damaged. Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a socket which can prevent static electricity from being discharged to a socket terminal and eliminate an anxiety of damaging an IC, etc.

Further, when the cover 4 of the socket connector 1 is mounted vertically movably on the molded body 2 through right and left springs 6, its assembly is difficult. Therefore, another object of preferred embodiments of the present invention is to provide a connector which facilitates the assembly of a metal cover by pivotally supporting one end of the metal cover to both ends of the outside of the molded body, and reliably fixes the spring to the molded body when the metal cover is biased upwards by the associated spring, thereby easily mounting the socket connector on a board, etc.

The socket terminal 3 of the socket connector has elasticity so as to be brought into pressure contact with the plug terminal 9 of the plug connector 8, and if the socket terminal 3 is repeatedly engaged and thus repeatedly bent by the plug connector 8, a so-called "permanent distortion" occurs due to fatigue. Accordingly, still another object of a preferred embodiment of the present invention is to provide a connector which can prevent permanent distortion of the socket terminal.

Moreover, when the cover 4 is, for example, of a metal cover and a separator is fixed to a window of the metal cover by insert molding synthetic resin, the separator might protrude above the upper surface of the cover to disturb the smooth sliding of the plug connector. Therefore, still another object of a preferred embodiment the present invention is to provide a connector in which the separator does not protrude from the upper surface of the cover and is reliably fixed to the window of the cover so as not to disturb the mounting operation of the plug connector.

A connector might be sometimes deviated at its center in a pitch direction (the direction along a row of terminals) at the time of engaging the connector due to an irregularity in dimensional accuracy of, for example, a car stereophonic player body and an operational panel, etc. In this case, terminals may be short-circuited due to the central deviation, or an improper contact occurs. Accordingly, still another object of a preferred embodiment the present invention is to provide a connector in which, even if a central deviation in a pitch direction exists, a short-circuit between terminals or an improper contact of the terminals does not occur.

According to the present invention there is provided from a first aspect an electrical connector comprising a socket connector having a cover formed with a number of slits and mounted on the upper surface of a molded body, including a plurality of socket terminals and formed to expose said socket terminals through the slits, and a plug connector having a plurality of plug terminals opposed to said socket terminals when said plug and socket connectors are connected together, wherein said cover is formed of metal and is pivotally rotatably mounted at one end to said molded body and biased upwardly by a spring, said spring having a connecting portion for connection to a ground, thereby in use connecting said metal cover electrically with the ground.

From a second aspect the invention provides a socket connector having a plurality of socket terminals, a connector body and a cover formed with a number of slits mounted on the upper surface of the connector body, and formed to expose said socket terminals through the slits, wherein said cover is formed of metal, is pivotally mounted to said connector body and is biased upwardly by a spring having a connecting portion for connection to a ground, for connecting said metal cover electrically with the ground.

In a preferred embodiment the slits formed in said metal cover are respectively provided with insulating separators for example formed of resin in a window provided in said metal cover.

Preferably the spring for biasing said metal cover upwards is restricted in its upward movement by a first connecting portion provided on the connector body, and restricted in its downward movement by a second connecting portion to fix said spring to the connector body.

Preferably each said socket terminal is fixed at its base portion to the rear portion of the molded body of said socket connector, bent obliquely upwards at the rear, further bent downwards above the molded body to form a contact portion at the top thereof, and extended rearwards at the distal end thereof.

Preferably holes are opened at the sides of the window of said metal cover, and a said separator is fixed to the edges of said holes and said window by insert molding.

Preferably a pressing portion is provided on the rear surface of said metal cover, such that when said metal cover is depressed, said pressing portion presses against said socket terminal to limit the protruding amount of the contact portion formed at the top of said socket terminal constantly.

Preferably in one embodiment guides are provided at both sides of any of said metal cover and said plug connector, the side of the cover or the plug connector having no said guide being detachably engageable with the inner surface of said guide, and a predetermined clearance is provided between the molded body of said socket connector and said metal cover.

In another embodiment guides are provided at both sides of any of said metal cover and said plug connector, the side of said metal cover or the plug connector having no said guide is detachably engageable with the inner surface of said guide, and further a predetermined clearance is provided between the inner surface of said guide and the side of said metal cover or the plug connector having no guide.

In yet another preferred embodiment, guides protrude at both sides of the molded body of said socket connector at the exposed side of said socket terminal, the outer surface of said plug connector is engageable with the inner surface of said guide, and at least one of the upper portion of the inner surface of said guide or the distal end of the outer surface of said plug connector is cut out to form a tapered surface.

Thus the socket connector of the present invention has a metal cover having a number of slits arranged on the upper surface of a molded body engaged with the socket terminals. Accordingly, even if a charged human body approaches the connector, static electricity charged to the human body is not discharged to the terminals but rather to the metal cover, and removed by being grounded through the spring for biasing the metal cover upwards.

In a preferred embodiment a separator formed of resin is mounted in a window provided in the metal cover. Accordingly, the separator isolates the terminals arranged between the separators to prevent a short-circuit between the terminals. Further, the metal cover is biased upwardly by the spring as described above, and the spring is restricted in its upwards or downwards movement by a first connector portion and a second connecting portion provided in the molded body of the connector. Therefore, when the spring is inserted into a hole opened in the circuit board to connect it to the ground of the circuit board, the spring is easily inserted into the circuit board without vertically moving to be fixed.

In a preferred embodiment, the base portion of the terminal is mounted at the rear portion of the molded body of the socket connector, the connector terminal is bent obliquely at the front portion of the molded body, and further the connector terminal is bent downward above the molded body to form the contact portion at the top. Accordingly, since the socket terminal is folded and extended in the length, high elasticity is imparted. Further, when the socket terminal is pressed by a pressing portion which may be provided on a rear surface of the metal cover, its stress is dispersed to the contact portion, the folded front portion and the base portion of the socket terminal, and hence a reduction in the elastic force due to bending can be prevented.

Holes may be provided at the sides of the window of the metal cover, and the separators of synthetic resin fixed to the edges of the holes and the window horizontally by insert molding. Accordingly, since the separators can be mounted in the window of the metal cover without protruding from the upper surfaces of the metal cover, it is not necessary to form a step at the edge of the window of the metal cover, and it is possible to smoothly form the upper surface of the metal cover.

Further, when the plug connector to be connected is contacted with the metal cover of the socket connector and pressed against the metal cover, the metal cover is rotated and pressed down about its pivotal support and the contact portion of the connector terminal is exposed from the slit of the separator. Further, when the metal cover is pressed down, a pressing portion preferably provided on the rear surface of the metal cover presses against the connector terminal to be pressed down. Thus, the protruding amount of the contact portion of the connector terminal is restricted constantly to reduce deformation, and prevent breakage.

In a preferred embodiment when the plug connector is electrically coupled with the socket connector, a side of the metal cover of the socket connector or the plug connector having no guide is engaged with the inner surface of a guide provided at either one of the plug connector and the metal cover of the socket connector. In this case, if its center is deviated in a pitch direction, the inner surface of a guide interferes with the side of the metal cover of the socket connector or the plug connector having no guide to be engaged therewith, and the metal cover is slid towards either one within a range of the clearance between the metal cover and the molded body of the socket connector for pivotally securing the metal cover. At this time, the sidewall of the slit of the metal cover is contacted with the side of the socket terminal, and the socket terminal is moved together with the slide of the metal cover. Thus, the plug terminal of the plug connector and the socket terminal of the socket connector are always held at a necessary contact state with respect to the central deviation of the connector, and not short-circuited. The contact of the plug terminal with the socket terminal can be held excellently even by providing a predetermined clearance between the inner surface of the guide and the plug connector or the metal cover having no guide, thereby preventing the short-circuit therebetween.

Further, a short-circuit can be also prevented in another embodiment by engaging the outer surface of the plug connector with guides protruding from both sides of the molded body of the socket connector. In this case, the outer surface of the plug connector may be inserted under the guidance of a tapered surface formed at either one of the upper portion of the inner surface of the guide or the distal end of the outer surface of the plug connector, and engaged with the inner surface of the guide. Even if the inserting direction of the plug connector is deviated at its center in the pitch direction, a predetermined clearance is provided between the inner surface of the guide and the outer surface of the plug connector, and hence the plug connector may slide within this range of clearance to automatically correct the central deviation to the socket connector, thereby holding the contact state of the plug terminal with the socket terminal preferably to prevent the short-circuit therebetween.

Some embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:-

  • Figs. 1 to 8 show embodiments of a connector according to the present invention, where Fig. 1 is a plan view of a socket connector, Fig. 2 is a sectional view of the socket connector, Fig. 3 is a side view of the socket connector, Fig. 4 is an enlarged sectional view of first and second connecting portions of a spring for biasing a metal cover of the socket connector upwards, Fig. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of a separator portion mounted in the metal cover, Fig. 6 is a sectional view showing the condition in which the metal cover is rotated through its maximum angle, Fig. 7(A) is a sectional view of the socket connector showing the condition in which the pressing portion provided on the separator protrudes from the inner surface of the front portion of the separator, Fig. 7(B) is a sectional view of the socket connector showing another form of separator provided on the metal cover, and Fig. 8 is a sectional view showing the condition in which the socket connector and the plug connector are connected.
  • Figs. 9 to 14 show other embodiments of a connector according to the present invention, where Fig. 9 is a front view of a plug connector, Fig. 10 is a partial longitudinal sectional front view of a socket connector, Fig. 11 is a partial longitudinal sectional front view of a further socket connector, Fig. 12 is a front view of a further plug connector, Fig. 13 is a plan view of the socket connector shown in Fig. 10, and Fig. 14 is a plan view of the socket connector shown in Fig. 11.
  • Figs. 15 to 20 show still further embodiments of a connector according to the present invention, where Fig. 15 is a front view of the connector, Fig. 16 is a partial longitudinal sectional front view of the socket connector, Fig. 17 is a partial longitudinal sectional front view of a further socket connector, Fig. 18 is a front view of a further plug connector, Fig. 19 is a plan view of the socket connector shown in Fig. 16, and Fig. 20 is a plan view of the socket connector shown in fig. 17.
  • Figs. 21 to 24 show still another embodiment of a connector according to the present invention, where Fig. 21 is a front view showing the condition in which the plug connector and the socket connector are opposed, Fig. 22 is a side view of Fig. 21, Fig. 23 is a back view of the socket connector, Fig. 24 is a front view of the socket connector, and Fig. 25 is a longitudinal sectional view of a conventional connector.

An embodiment of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to Figs. 1 to 8. In the drawings, reference numeral 10 denotes a socket connector to be used for a car stereophonic player (not shown) in which an operation unit engaged with a plug connector 26 to be described later can be attached and detached. As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, in the socket connector 10, a plurality of socket terminals 13 are mounted in such a manner that the base portions 14 of the plurality of socket terminals 13 are fixed to the rear portion 12 of a molded body 11. Each socket terminal 13 is formed of a leaf spring to have an elastic force, and the base 14 portion of each socket terminal 13 is bent slightly upwards to extend forward (rightward in Fig. 2) from the bottom of the rear portion 12 of the molded body 11. The front portion of the socket terminal 13 is bent upwardly so as to extend obliquely rearwards, and further bent downwardly so as to form a contact portion 15 protruding upwards, with the distal end portion 16 of the socket terminal 13 extending horizontally.

As described above, the socket terminal 13 is bent upwardly at the front portion of the molded body 11, and bent downwardly above the molded body 11. Hence, a bending load applied to the socket terminal 13 by a pressing portion 22a of a separator 22 to be described later is dispersed by the base portion 14, the front portion and the contact portion 15 to prevent its elasticity from decreasing. Further, since the socket terminal 13 is folded at the front portion to extend the entire length, a decrease in the elasticity is further prevented.

As shown in Fig. 3, a cover 17 covering the molded body 11 from above is vertically movably pivotally secured to the rear portion of the molded body 11. The cover 17 is formed of metal. As shown in Fig. 3, the metal cover 17 is pivotally secured to pins 17a at both sides of the rear portions of the molded body 11, and a torsion coil spring 18 is mounted in the molded body 11 in such a manner that the torsion coil spring 18 is connected at the one side portion to the molded body 11 and contacted at the other end portion with the inner surface of the metal cover 17 to bias upwardly the metal cover 17. Accordingly, when the socket connector 10 is not used, the metal cover 17 covers and protects the socket terminals 13.

A first connecting portion 19a protrudes from an upper end portion of the side surface of the molded body 11 to a lower intermediate portion, and a second connecting portion 19b protrudes from a lower end of the side surface of the molded body 11 to an upper intermediate portion. A semicylindrical groove is formed on the lower end part of the first connecting portion 19a, the torsion coil spring 18 is engaged with the groove, the one side portion of the torsion coil spring 18 is held by the first connecting portion 19a and the second connecting portion 19b, and fixed to the side surface of the molded body 11.

Further, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, a rectangular window 20 is provided at an intermediate portion of the metal cover 17, and long rectangular holes 21 are provided at the front and rear portions of the window 20. Each hole 21 is formed, as shown in Figs 2 and 5, so as to be tapered in its upper portion. Separators 22 formed of synthetic resin are mounted in the window 20. Each separator 22 is fixed to the edge portions of the window 20 by means of insert molding to surround the sides between the window 20 and the holes 21, and the lower surface of the metal cover 21, and formed with a slit 23. Each slit 23 is formed oppositely to the socket terminal 13 in such a manner that the contact portion 15 of the socket terminal 13 is movably insertable into the slit 23. Accordingly, the socket terminals 13 are separated from each other by the separators 22.

Each separator 22 is insert molded in the upwardly open holes 21, and fixed at the tapered portion to prevent the separator 22 from dropping downwards. Since the separator 22 does not protrude over the upper surface of the metal cover 17, a plug connector 26 to be described later may be smoothly slid on the upper surface of the metal cover 17 as will be described later. As shown in Fig. 7(B), it is noted that a step portion 21a may be formed on the metal cover 7 and the separator 22 may be mounted in the step portion 21a so that the separator 22 does not protrude from the upper surface of the metal cover 17.

As shown in Fig. 2, a pressing portion 22a protrudes from the inner surface of the rear portion of each separator 22. As shown in Fig. 6, even if the metal cover 17 is strongly pressed down so that the rotating angle of the metal cover 17 is increased, the pressing portion 22a presses the distal end 16 of the socket terminal 13 to cooperatively rotate it. Hence, the contact portion 15 of the socket terminal 13 is moved downwards to restrict excessive protrusion from the metal cover 17. Further, since the socket terminal 13 is bent at the front portion of the molded body 11 and bent downwards above the molded body 11, a bending load exerted by pressing the pressing portion 22a as described above is dispersed to the base portion 14, the front portion and the contact portion 15 thereby to prevent the elastic force of the socket terminal from decreasing.

In Fig. 7(A), a pressing portion 22b protrudes from the inner surface of the front portion of the separator 22. The pressing portion 22b is constructed to press a front portion of the contact portion 15 of the socket terminal 13 when the metal cover 17 is rotated by a large amount. In this case, since the part of the socket terminal is acted on by the pressing portion 22b is set between the contact portion 15 and the base portion 14, the amount of protrusion of the contact portion 15 from the metal cover 17 is stabilized so as to make uniform the protruding heights of a number of socket terminals aligned in parallel.

Therefore, when the socket connector 10 is not used, even if the metal cover 17 is depressed due to any external collision, the amount by which the socket terminals protrude is maintained constantly to be restricted, and hence deformation or damage of the exposed portion of the socket terminal 13 due to an engagement can be prevented.

The socket connector 10 is mounted on a circuit board 24, and the socket terminals 13 are connected to the electrodes of the board. On the other hand, as shown in Fig. 3, the torsion coil spring 18 extends downwards at its one side from the second connecting portion 19b to form a connecting portion 25. The connecting portion 25 is inserted into an insertion hole of the circuit board 24, and connected to a ground pattern (not shown) of the circuit board 24. At this time, since the connecting portion 25 of the torsion coil spring 18 is restricted in its lateral and vertical movement by the first connecting portion 19a and the second connecting portion 19b, vertical fluctuations of the connecting portion 25 are prevented, and insertion of the connecting portion 25 into the circuit board can be facilitated. Accordingly, even if the connecting portion 25 is not soldered to the board but merely pressed into contact with metal, etc., the opening force of the metal cover 17 is maintained constantly.

As shown in Fig. 8, when the plug connector 26 is slid from the front of the socket connector 10 on the upper surface of the metal cover 17 and the plug connector 26 is opposed to the upper surface of the slit 23 while pressing the oblique surface of the inclined metal cover 17, the metal cover 17 is rotated downwards, and the contact portion 15 of the socket terminal 13 is exposed from the slit 23. Accordingly, the contact portion 15 of the socket terminal 13 of the socket connector 10 is press-contacted with the plug terminal 27 of the plug connector 26. In Fig. 8, a gap is shown between the plug connector 26 and the upper surface of the metal cover 17 for the convenience of description. In reality the plug connector 26 is actually contacted with the upper surface of the metal cover 17 of the socket connector 10.

In this case, since a gap is provided between the front edge of the separator 22 and the distal end 16 of the socket terminal 13, the metal cover 17 does not interfere with the socket terminal 13 of the socket connector 10 before the front edge of the separator 22 is contacted with the distal end 16 of the socket terminal 13, i.e., when the movement of the metal cover 17 is small. Accordingly, the contact portion 15 of the socket terminal 13 is exposed from the slit 23, and pressed in contact with the plug terminal 27 of the plug connector 26.

It is noted that the contact timing of the contact portion 15 of the socket terminal 13 with the plug terminal 27 can be altered by varying the height of the pressing portion 22a shown in Fig. 2. Accordingly, for example, the contact portion 15 of the socket terminal 13 may be sequentially contacted with a ground terminal, a power terminal, a signal terminal to be able to prevent damage of an IC, etc.

Since the metal cover 17 is formed of metal, even if a charged body such as a human body, etc., approaches the socket connector 10, static electricity is not discharged to the socket terminal 13, but discharged to the metal cover 17. The static electricity is discharged to the ground through the torsion coil spring 18. Further, since the separator 22 is formed of resin, even if it is contacted with the socket terminal 13, it is not short-circuited, but it reliably isolates the socket terminals 13 to protect them. Therefore, anxiety over damaging electronic components such as an IC, etc., connected to the socket terminal 13 is eliminated.

Further embodiments according to the present invention will be described in detail with reference to Figs. 9 to 14. The corresponding portions in these embodiment to those of the above-described embodiment are designated by the same reference numerals as in Figs. 1 to 8 for the convenience of description. Fig. 9 is a front view of a plug connector 26. In Fig. 9, in the plug connector 26, a number of plug terminals 27 are exposed in the longitudinal direction (central direction) of the bottom of a molded body 26a to be inserted, and the other ends of the plug terminals 27 protrude from the upper surface to be soldered to a wiring pattern of a board (not shown). In Fig. 9, guides 28 protrude from the lower surfaces of both end portions of the molded body 26a to be engaged with right and left outer surfaces 17b of a metal cover 17 in which socket connectors 10 are pivotally secured to be described later (see Fig. 10).

In a socket connector 10, as shown in a partial sectional front view of Fig. 10, the metal cover 17 covers the upper surface of the molded body 11 of the socket connector 10, and the lower end portions of the right and left side plates 17c of the metal cover 17 are pivotally secured to the side surfaces of the lower end portion of the molded body 11 via pins 17a. Accordingly, the metal cover 17 is vertically rotatably mounted at the pins 17a, and biased in the direction of opening (upwardly) by a spring 18.

A predetermined clearance L is provided between the inner surface of the pivotal support position of the side plate 17c of the metal cover 17 and the outer surface 11a of the molded body 11. Further, a plurality of socket terminals 13 are aligned to be exposed in the longitudinal direction of the upper surface of the molded body 11, respectively opposed to the plug terminals 27 in such a manner that the opposed plug terminals 27 and the socket terminals 13 are respectively contacted with each other. Of course, the other ends of the socket terminals 13 protrude at the front surface side in Fig. 10 to be soldered to a wiring pattern of a board (not shown).

Slits 23 are opened opposite to the socket terminals 13 longitudinally of the upper surface of the metal cover 17. When the metal cover 17 is rotated against the bias of the spring 18, the socket terminals 13 are exposed upwards from the slits 23. Further, a clearance M is provided between the sidewall P of the slit 23 and both side surfaces of the socket terminal 13. It is noted that the clearance M is formed to be shorter than the clearance L between the metal cover 17 and the molded body 11.

Another embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to Figs. 11 and 12. Fig. 11 is a front view of a socket connector. Since the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 11 is substantially the same as the socket connector 10 described with reference to Fig. 10, the corresponding portions are designated by the same reference numerals as those of the socket connector 10 of Fig. 10, and the description thereof will be omitted. Only a different point of the embodiment from that in Fig. 10 is that guides 28a protrude from both side portions of the upper surface of the metal cover 17 to be engaged at the outer surface of the plug connector 26 shown in Fig. 12 with the inner surface of the guide 28a.

The plug connector 26 to be engaged with the guide 28a of the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 11 will be described with reference to Fig. 12. Fig. 12 is a front view of the plug connector 26, which is substantially the same as the plug connector 26 shown in Fig. 9. Only a different point is that guides 28 are not provided at both ends of the lower portion of the molded body 26a shown in Fig. 9. Since the other points are entirely the same as those in Fig. 9, the corresponding portions are designated by the same reference numerals as those of the socket connector 10 of Fig. 9, and the description thereof will be omitted. In this embodiment, the portions engaged with the guides 28a are right and left sidewalls 26b formed at the lower protrusions of the molded body 26a in which the plug terminals 27 are exposed to be inserted in Fig. 12. However, the present invention is not limited to the particular embodiment.

Fig. 13 is a plan view of the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 10, and Fig. 14 is a plan view of the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 11. Accordingly, in Fig. 13, the guides 28a are not provided, but in Fig. 14, the guides 28a are provided. The other construction is entirely the same.

Since the above-described embodiments of the present invention are constructed as described above, when the plug connector 26 is engaged with the socket connector 10 to be electrically coupled, for example, in Fig. 9, the outer surface 17b of the metal cover 17 pivotally supported to the upper surface of the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 10 is guided to be engaged with the inner surface of the guide 28 of the plug connector 26, or in Fig. 11, the sidewall 26b of the molded body 26a of the plug connector 26 shown in Fig. 12 is guided to be engaged with the inner surface of the guide 28a provided at the metal cover 17 of the socket connector 10. In this case, if the centres of the plug and socket connectors are offset in a pitch direction (lateral longitudinal direction in the drawings), the outer surfaces 17b of the metal cover 17 to be engaged with the guides 28 or the sidewalls 26b of the plug connector 26 to be engaged with the guides 28a interfere with each other, and the metal cover 17 slides in either a rightward or leftward longitudinal direction. The sliding of the metal cover 17 is conducted within the range of the clearance L provided between the metal cover 17 and the outer surface 11a of the molded body 11. (The moving range of the socket terminal 13 = clearance L - clearance M). In this case, the inner sidewall of the slit 23 of the metal cover 17 interferes with the sidewall of the socket terminal 13, and as the metal cover 17 slides, the socket terminal 13 also moves. Thus, the central deviation or misalignment of the plug connector 26 and the socket connector 10 is corrected by deviation between the cooperating terminals.

Still further embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to Figs. 15 to 20. Fig. 15 is a front view of a plug connector 26. Since Fig. 15 shows the same as the plug connector 26 shown in Fig. 9, the corresponding portions are designated by the same reference numerals as those of the plug connector 26 of Fig. 9, and the description thereof will be omitted.

Since the socket connector 10 shown in a partial sectional front view of Fig. 16 is the same as the socket connector 10 in Fig. 10, the corresponding portions are designated by the same reference numerals as those of the socket connector 10 of Fig. 10, and the description thereof will be omitted.

As shown in Fig. 15, a clearance L&sub1; is provided between the inner surface of the guide 28 protruding from the plug connector 26 and the outer surface 17b of the metal cover 17. Further, a clearance M is provided between the sidewall P of the slit 23 provided on the metal cover 17 and both the side surfaces of each socket terminal 13. The clearance M may be formed smaller than the clearance L&sub1; provided between the inner surface of the guide 28 and the outer surface 17b of the metal cover 17.

Still another embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to Figs. 17 and 18. Fig. 17 is a front view of a socket connector 10. The socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 17 is substantially the same as the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 16, the corresponding portions are designated by the same reference numerals as those of the socket connector 10 of Fig. 16, and the description thereof will be omitted. Only a different point is that guides 28a protrude from both side portions of the upper surface of the metal cover 17 to be engaged at the outer surface of the plug connector 26 shown in Fig. 18 with the guides 28a.

The plug connector 26 to be engaged with the guides 28a of the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 17 will be described with reference to Fig. 18. Fig. 18 is a front view of the plug connector 26, and substantially the same as the plug connector 26 shown in Fig. 15. Only a different point is that guides 28 are not provided at both ends of the lower portion of the molded body 26a shown in Fig. 15. Since the other points are entirely the same, the corresponding portions are designated by the same reference numerals as those of the socket connector 10 of Fig. 15, and the description thereof will be omitted. The portions to be engaged with the guides 28a are right and left sidewalls 26b formed at the protrusions of the lower portion of the molded body 26a in which the plug terminals 27 are exposed to be inserted in Fig. 18. However, the present invention is not limited to the particular embodiment. Further, a predetermined clearance L&sub2; is provided between the inner surface of the guide 28a provided at the metal cover 17 and the sidewall 26b of the plug connector 26.

Fig. 19 is a plan view of the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 16, and Fig. 20 is a plan view of the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 17. Accordingly, guides 28a are not provided in Fig. 19, but the guides 28a are provided in Fig. 20, and the other structure is entirely the same.

Since the above-described embodiments of the present invention (Figs. 15 to 20) are constructed as described above, when the plug connector 26 is engaged with the socket connector 10 to be electrically coupled, for example, in Fig. 15, the outer surface 17b of the metal cover 17 pivotally supported to the upper surface of the socket connector 10 shown in Fig. 16 is guided to be engaged with the inner surface of the guide 28 of the plug connector 26, or in Fig. 17, the sidewall 26b of the molded body 26a of the plug connector 26 shown in Fig. 18 is guided to be engaged with the inner surface of the guide 28a provided at the metal cover 17 of the socket connector 10. In this case, if the centres of the plug and socket connectors deviate or are misaligned in a pitch direction (lateral longitudinal direction in the drawings), the outer surfaces 17b of the metal cover 17 to be engaged with the guides 28 or the sidewalls 26b of the plug connector 26 to be engaged with the guides 28a interfere with each other, and the metal cover 17 is slid in either a rightward or leftward longitudinal direction. The sliding of the metal cover 17 is conducted in a range of the clearance L&sub1; between the inner surface of the guide 28 and the outer surface 17b of the metal cover 17 or in a range of the clearance L&sub2; between the inner surface of the guide 28a and the sidewall 26b of the plug connector 26. Thus, the centre deviations when the connector is set to be engaged can be absorbed by the clearance L&sub1; or L&sub2; to correct the contact deviation of the terminals.

Still another embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to Figs. 21 to 24. Fig. 21 is a front view showing the state that a plug connector is opposed to a socket connector, and Fig. 22 is a side view of the same. In the drawings, since the plug connector and the socket connector are substantially the same as those described above, the corresponding portions are designated by the same reference numerals as those of the socket connector 10 of Fig. 10, and the description thereof will be omitted. In Fig. 21, the molded body 26a of the plug connector is vertically stepped, and the outer surface 26b of the stepped portion is engaged with the inner surface 28c of the guide 28 protruding at the outside of the molded body 11 of the socket connector 10 to be described above. Further, a clearance L is provided between the outer surface 26b of the lower step of the stepped portion of the plug connector 26 and the inner surface 28c of the guide 28.

The guides 28 protruding at the outside of the molded body 11 of the socket connector 10 are provided at both sides of the position to be exposed above from the slit 23 of the metal cover 17, and the metal cover 17 is cut away at the positions of the guide 28 at the side plate 17c of the metal cover 17 so as to prevent interference with its rotation.

The upper portion of the inner surface 28c of the guide 28 is cut out to form a tapered surface 28b. Accordingly, the outer surface 26b of the lower step of the stepped portion of the molded body 26a of the plug connector 26 is first guided to be inserted to the tapered surface 28b, and engaged with the inner surface 28c of the guide of the lower portion of the tapered surface 28b. In this case, since a predetermined clearance L is provided between the inner surface 28c of the guide and the outer surface 26b of the plug connector 26, when the plug connector 26 is deviated at the center in a pitch direction, it is corrected within the range of the clearance to be engaged with each other in a substantially accurate position, and hence an improper contact between the terminals does not occur.


Anspruch[en]
  1. A connector (10) comprising a socket connector having a cover (17) formed with a number of slits (23) and mounted on the upper surface of a molded body (11) including a plurality of socket terminals (13) and formed to expose said socket terminals through the slits, and a plug connector (26) having a plurality of plug terminals (27) opposed to said socket terminals when said plug and socket connectors are connected, wherein said cover is formed of metal, and pivotally rotatably mounted at one end to said molded body and is biased upwardly by a spring (18) having a connecting portion (25) for connection to a ground, thereby connecting said metal cover electrically with the ground.
  2. A socket connector having a plurality of socket terminals (13), a connector body (11) and a cover (17) formed with a number of slits (23) mounted on the upper surface of the connector body (11), and formed to expose said socket terminals through the slits, wherein said cover is formed of metal, is pivotally mounted to said connector body and is biased upwardly by a spring (18) having a connecting portion (25) for connection to a ground, for connecting said metal cover electrically with the ground.
  3. A connector or socket connector according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the slits formed in said metal cover are respectively provided with insulating separators (22) in a window (20) provided in said metal cover.
  4. A connector or socket connector according to any of claims 1, 2 and 3, wherein said spring for biasing said metal cover upwards is restricted in its upward movement by a first connecting portion (19a) provided in the molded body, and restricted in its downward movement by a second connecting portion (19b) to fix said spring to the connector body.
  5. A connector or socket connector according to any preceding claim, wherein each said socket terminal is fixed at its base portion to a rear portion (12) of the molded body of said socket connector, bent obliquely upwardly and rearwardly at the front portion of the body, further bent downwardly above the molded body to form a contact portion (15) at the top thereof, and extends rearwardly at the distal end (16) thereof.
  6. A connector of socket connector according to any of claims 2 to 5, wherein holes (21) are opened at the sides of the window (20) of said metal cover (17), and a said separator (22) is fixed to the edges of said holes and said window by insert molding.
  7. A connector or socket connector according to any preceding claim, wherein a pressing portion (22a,22b) is provided on the rear surface of said metal cover (17), such that when said metal cover is depressed, said pressing portion presses against said socket terminal (3) to limit the amount by which the contact portion (15) formed at the top of said socket terminal protrudes from said slit.
  8. A connector according to any preceding claim, wherein guides (28) are provided at both sides of any of said metal cover (17) and said plug connector (26), the side of the cover or the plug connector having no said guide being detachably engageable with the inner surface of said guide, and a predetermined clearance (L) is provided between the molded body of said socket connector and said metal cover.
  9. A connector according to any of claims 1 to 7, wherein guides (28a) are provided at both sides of any of said metal cover of said plug connector, the side of said metal cover or the plug connector having no said guide being detachably engageable with the inner surface of said guide, and further a predetermined clearance (L&sub1;) is provided between the inner surface of said guide and the side of said metal cover or the plug connector having no guide.
  10. A connector according to any of claims 1 to 7, wherein guides (28a) protrude at both sides of the molded body of said socket connector at the exposed side of said socket terminal, the outer surface (26b) of said plug connector being engageable with the inner surface of said guide, and at least one of the upper portion (28c) of the inner surface of said guide or the distal end (26b) of the outer surface of said plug connector is tapered (28c).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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