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Verbindungsstecker - Dokument EP1030411
 
PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1030411 28.09.2000
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 1030411
Titel Verbindungsstecker
Anmelder Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd., Yokkaichi, Mie, JP
Erfinder Shinozaki, c/o Sumitomo Wiring Syst. Ltd., Tetsuya, Yokkaichi-city, Mie 510-8503, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, CY, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 22.12.1999
EP-Aktenzeichen 991255183
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 23.08.2000
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 28.09.2000
IPC-Hauptklasse H01R 31/08
IPC-Nebenklasse H01R 43/22   

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to a joint connector.

A known joint connector is disclosed in Japanese Unexamined Utility Model Publication No. 2-61083. This joint connector 1 is, as shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, comprised of a joint housing 3 provided with a joint terminal 2 and a female connector housing 6 formed with a plurality of cavities 5 for accommodating female terminal fittings 4. The housings 3 and 6 are engageable with each other, and are settable in a partly engaged state (see FIG. 13) where they are partly engaged and in a fully engaged state (see FIG. 14) where they are fully engaged to connect the terminals 2 and 4. In the assembling of this joint connector 1, the female terminal fittings 4 are mounted after the housings 3 and 6 are partly engaged. The respective female terminal fittings 4 are connected with unillustrated wires, and are selectively mounted in the female connector housing 5 according to the arrangement of wires.

Wrong terminal fittings 4 may be inserted into the cavities 5 during the assembling operation. Thus, it is desirable to check by an electrical conduction test as to whether or not the right female terminal fittings 4 have been inserted into the respective cavities 5. If a testing probe is inserted through an opening, for example, at a front side (side to be engaged with the joint housing 3) of the female connector housing 6 to be brought into contact with the female terminal fitting 4, a cumbersome operation of conducting a test after disengaging the housing 3 and 6 and engaging them again after the test is required.

Furthermore, the female terminal fittings 4 are selectively mounted in the respective cavities 6 according to how they are used. During the assembling of the joint connector 1, wrong female terminal fittings 4 which are not planned may be mounted in the cavities 6. If such a situation is found before the housings 3 and 5 are fully engaged, it is necessary to withdraw the female terminal fittings 4 having been erroneously inserted and insert proper ones instead.

In such a case, with the above joint connector 1, the housings 3 and 5 are first disengaged to expose the front surface of the female connector housing 5. Then, a disengaging jig is inserted through an opening left by exposing the front surface of the female connector housing 5 to elastically deform the locking portion 7 in a departing direction, and the female terminal fitting 4 is withdrawn while the locking portion 7 is disengaged therefrom. After the proper female terminal fittings 4 are inserted, the housings 3 and 5 are engaged again. The joint connector 1 necessitates such a cumbersome operation.

In view of the above problem, an object of the present invention is to provide a joint connector having an excellent assembling operability.

This object is solved by a joint connector according to claim 1 and claim 3. Preferred embodiments of the invention are subject of the dependent claims.

According to the invention, there is provided a joint connector, comprising:

  • one or more terminal fittings connectable with a mating joint terminal,
  • a connector housing provided with one or more cavities which are adapted to at least partly accommodate the terminal fittings,
  • a joint terminal for shorting a plurality of the terminal fittings to each other, and
  • a joint housing which is provided with the joint terminal and engageable with the connector housing,
   wherein one or more insertion openings are formed in an outer wall of the connector housing for allowing an electrical contact of an electrical conduction testing jig with the terminal fitting when the electrical conduction testing jig is inserted from the outside of the outer wall with the two housings being at least partly engaged.

According to a preferred embodiment, each cavity is provided with an elastic locking piece for elastically engaging and locking the corresponding terminal fitting when it is mounted in the cavity, and wherein the insertion openings also serve as disengaging opening for allowing the insertion of a disengaging jig for disengaging the terminal fittings from the elastic locking pieces.

According to a further preferred embodiment of the invention, there is provided a joint connector, comprising:

  • female terminal fittings connectable with a mating joint terminal,
  • a female connector housing provided with cavities which are adapted to accommodate the female terminal fittings and are each formed with an elastic locking piece for elastically engaging the corresponding female terminal fitting to lock it in the cavity,
  • a joint terminal for shorting a plurality of the female terminal fittings to each other, and
  • a joint housing which is provided with the joint terminal and engageable with the female connector housing,
   wherein electrical conduction testing openings are formed in an outer wall of the female connector housing for allowing an electrical contact of an electrical conduction testing jig with the female terminal fitting when the electrical conduction testing jig is inserted from the outside of the outer wall with the two housings being engaged.

Accordingly, operability is improved since an electrical conduction test for the female terminal fittings can be conducted with the two housings being engaged. Furthermore, an electrical conduction test can be conducted without disengaging two housings.

According to the invention, there is further provided a joint connector, comprising:

  • one or more terminal fittings connectable with a mating joint terminal,
  • a connector housing provided with one or more cavities which are adapted to at least partly accommodate the terminal fittings and are each formed with an elastic locking piece for elastically engaging the corresponding female terminal fitting to lock it in the cavity,
  • a joint terminal for shorting a plurality of the terminal fittings to each other, and
  • a joint housing which is provided with the joint terminal and engageable with the connector housing,
   wherein one or more insertion openings through which a jig for disengaging the elastic locking piece from the terminal fitting with the housings at least partly engaged are formed in an outer wall of the connector housing in proximity to the elastic locking pieces.

There is further provided a joint connector, comprising:

  • female terminal fittings connectable with a mating joint terminal,
  • a female connector housing provided with cavities which are adapted to accommodate the female terminal fittings and are each formed with an elastic locking piece for elastically engaging the corresponding female terminal fitting to lock it in the cavity,
  • a joint terminal for shorting a plurality of the female terminal fittings to each other, and
  • a joint housing which is provided with the joint terminal and engageable with the female connector housing,
   wherein jig insertion openings through which a jig for disengaging the elastic locking piece from the female terminal fitting with the housings engaged are formed in an outer wall of the female connector housing in proximity to the elastic locking pieces.

Accordingly, the female terminal fitting can be withdrawn by inserting the disengaging jig through the corresponding jig insertion opening and disengaging the elastic locking piece even if the housings are engaged. Accordingly, operability can be improved.

Preferably, the housings are settable in a partly engaged state where they are partly engaged and in a fully engaged state where they are fully engaged to connect the female terminal fittings and the joint terminal, and the joint housing is formed with an insertion opening closing portion for leaving the jig insertion openings open when the two housings are in the partly engaged state while closing them when the two housings are in the fully engaged state.

Accordingly, operability is satisfactory since the jig insertion openings are closed by the insertion opening closing portion if the engaged state of the housings is changed from the partly engaged state to the fully engaged state.

Further preferably, the insertion opening closing portion is provided with a deformation restricting portion which is inserted or insertable into a space for permitting the elastic deformation of the elastic locking pieces, thereby restricting the elastic deformation of the elastic locking pieces.

A jig for checking the electrical conduction of the female terminal fittings accommodated in the cavities may be inserted through the jig insertion openings to be electrically brought into contact with the female terminal fittings. Then, the electrical conduction test can be conducted for the female terminal fittings using the jig insertion openings.

Accordingly, the female terminal fittings can be securely locked since the elastic deformation of the elastic locking pieces is restricted as the housings are fully engaged.

According to a further preferred embodiment of the invention, the housings are settable in a partly engaged state where they are partly engaged and in a substantially fully engaged state where they are substantially fully engaged to connect the terminal fittings and the joint terminal, and wherein the joint housing is formed with a insertion opening closing portion for leaving the insertion openings substantially open when the two housings are in the partly engaged state while substantially closing them when the two housings are in the substantially fully engaged state.

Preferably, the housings are settable in a partly engaged state where they are partly engaged and in a fully engaged state where they are fully engaged to connect the female terminal fittings and the joint terminal, and the joint housing is formed with a testing opening closing portion for leaving the electrical conduction testing openings open when the two housings are in the partly engaged state while closing them when the two housings are in the fully engaged state.

Accordingly, operability is satisfactory since the testing openings are closed at the same time the engaged state of the two housings is changed from the partly engaged state to the fully engaged state.

Further preferably, each cavity is provided with an elastic locking piece for elastically engaging and locking the corresponding terminal fitting when it is mounted in the cavity, and the electrical conduction testing openings also serve as disengaging opening for allowing the insertion of a disengaging jig for disengaging the female terminal fittings from the elastic locking pieces.

Accordingly, the locking portions can be disengaged using the testing openings.

Most preferably, the testing opening closing portion is provided with a deformation restricting portion which is inserted into a space for permitting the elastic deformation of the elastic locking pieces to thereby restrict the elastic deformation of the elastic locking pieces.

Accordingly, the female terminal fittings can be securely locked since the elastic deformation of the elastic locking pieces is restricted when the two housings are fully engaged.

Further preferably, the joint housing also has a function of insufficient insertion detecting means for detecting the insufficient insertion of the terminal fittings into the respective cavities.

Most preferably, the insufficient insertion is detected by an engagement of the joint housing with the elastic locking piece being deflected by the insufficiently inserted terminal fittings.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon a reading of the following detailed description and accompanying drawings in which:

  • FIG. 1 is a side view of a joint connector according to one embodiment,
  • FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the joint connector,
  • FIG. 3 is a front view of a joint housing,
  • FIG. 4 is a front view of a female connector housing,
  • FIG. 5 is a side view in section of the joint connector,
  • FIG. 6 is a side view in section of the joint connector in its partly engaged state,
  • FIG. 7 is a side view in section of the joint connector having female terminal fittings mounted therein,
  • FIG. 8 is a side view in section showing how a locking portion is disengaged,
  • FIG. 9 is a side view in section of the joint connector in its fully engaged state,
  • FIG. 10 is a side view in section showing how insufficient insertion is detected,
  • FIG. 11 is a side view in section of a joint connector according to another embodiment in its partly engaged state,
  • FIG. 12 is a side view of the joint connector of FIG. 11 in its fully engaged state,
  • FIG. 13 is a side view in section of a prior art joint connector in its partly engaged state, and
  • FIG. 14 is a side view in section of the prior art joint connector in its fully engaged state.

Hereinbelow, one embodiment of the invention is described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 10.

A joint connector 10 according to this embodiment is provided with a female connector housing 20 for accommodating a plurality of female terminal fittings 40 and a joint housing 30 provided with a joint terminal 32 to be connected with the respective female terminal fittings 40. The housings 20 and 30 are at least partly engageable with each other. In the description below, sides of the housings 20 and 30 to be engaged with each other are referred to as front sides.

The female connector housing 20 is formed e.g. of a synthetic resin material to have a substantially box-shape which is substantially open in its front and rear surfaces as shown in FIGS. 3 to 5, and the inside thereof is partitioned into front and rear sections by a partition wall 24. Four cavities 21 for individually at least partly accommodating the female terminal fittings 40 are arranged substantially side by side behind the partition wall 24, and the female terminal fittings 40 are at least partly insertable into the respective cavities 21 through terminal insertion openings 21A formed at the rear side. At the front side of the cavities 21 are formed tab insertion openings 24A penetrating through the partition wall 24. Tabs 34 of the joint terminal 32 to be described later are or can be inserted into the cavities 21 through the respective tab insertion openings 24A.

At the bottom wall of each cavity 21, a locking portion 22 which cantilevers forward from the middle is integrally formed to be elastically deformable into a deformation permitting space 23 defined below the cavity 21. A locking projection 22A projectable into the corresponding cavity 21 is formed at the leading end of the locking portion 22, and is engageable with the female terminal fitting 40 to substantially lock it in position.

In the bottom wall of the female connector housing 20 are formed electrical conduction testing or jig insertion openings 25 (insertion openings) communicating with the front parts of the deformation permitting spaces 23 below the cavities 21 and corresponding to the cavities 21. Each testing opening 25 preferably is substantially rectangular and so dimensioned as to permit the insertion of a probe 50 for the electrical connection test to be described later and the insertion of a disengaging jig 51 for the locking portions 22 . The testing openings 25 also serve as disengaging openings to permit the insertion of a disengaging jig 51 for disengaging the locking portion 22 and the female terminal fitting 40.

In front of the partition wall 24 is provided a tubular receptacle 26, into which the joint housing 30 is at least partly fittable. A pair of substantially transversely spaced and substantially longitudinally arranged or extended guide pieces 28 project from the bottom surface of the receptacle 26. By fitting the guide pieces 28 into guide grooves 31 (see FIG. 3) formed in the joint housing 30, the joint housing 30 can be smoothly guided into the receptacle 26 and the upside-down insertion or engagement of the joint housing 30 or of the housings 20 and 30 can be preferably prevented. A substantially rectangular locking hole 27 is formed in the bottom wall of the receptacle 26, and a portion between the front edge of the locking hole 27 and the front edge of this bottom wall serves as a locking portion 29. A full-lock projection 37A and partial-lock projections 38 provided in the joint housing 30 are engageable with the locking hole 27 and the locking portion 29 as described later.

Each female terminal 40 to be at least partly accommodated in the female connector housing 20 is formed e.g. by bending a conductive metal plate member (see FIG. 7). At the front side of the female terminal fitting 40 is provided a connection portion 41 in the form of a substantially rectangular tube to be connectable with a tab 34 to be described later, and a substantially elastic contact piece 42 which can be elastically brought into contact with the tab 34 is provided in the connection portion 41. An engaging hole 44 engageable with the locking projection 22A of the locking portion 22 is formed in the bottom wall of the connection portion 41. At the rear end of the connection portion 41 is provided a barrel portion 43 to be fastened or connected to an end of a wire 45.

On the other hand, the joint housing 30 is formed e.g. of a synthetic resin material to have a substantially box-shape, and the outer configuration thereof is slightly smaller than the inner configuration of the receptacle 26. In the bottom surface of the joint housing 30 are formed a pair of transversely spaced-apart guide grooves 31. The entire joint housing 30 can be guided into the receptacle 26 by fitting the guide pieces 28 in the guide grooves 31 as described above.

A locking piece 37 is integrally or unitarily formed with the bottom wall of the joint housing 30 to preferably cantilever backward. The locking piece 37 is elastically deformable upward and downward or toward and away from the joint housing 30, and is formed with the locking projection 37A projecting downward. A pair of small wedge-shaped projections 38 projecting downward are formed near the base of the locking piece 37. There are two engaged states of the housings 20 and 30: a partly engaged state (see FIG. 6) where the joint housing 30 is partly fitted into the receptacle 26 and a substantially fully engaged state (see FIG. 9) where it is substantially fully fitted into the receptacle 26. The locking portion 29 is engaged between the locking projection 37A and the projections 38 in the partly engaged state. In the fully engaged state, the front surface of the joint housing 30 substantially abuts against the partition wall 24 and the locking projection 38 is fitted in the locking hole 27.

The joint terminal 32 is or can be pressed into the joint housing 30. This joint terminal 32 is preferably made of a conductive metal plate member, and e.g. four tabs 34 project substantially in alignment toward the female connector housing 20 from a base portion 33 pressed into the joint housing 30. When the housings 20 and 30 are partly engaged, the respective tabs 34 do preferably not project into the cavities 21 and are therefore not in contact with the female terminal fittings 40 in the cavities 21. The respective tabs 34 project into the cavities 21 through the tab insertion openings 24A, and the respective female terminal fittings 40 in the cavities 21 are shorted to each other via the joint terminal 32 by being connected to the tabs 34.

Four testing or insertion opening closing portions 35 project toward the female connector housing 20 from the bottom surface of the joint housing 30. The respective closing portion 35 substantially corresponds to the positions of the testing openings 25, and leave the testing openings 25 substantially open in the partly engaged state while substantially closing them in the fully engaged state. The leading end of each closing portion 35 serves as a deformation restricting portion 36, which is located before the locking portion 22 in the partly engaged state while entering the deformation permitting space 23 for the locking portion 22 in the fully engaged state to restrict the elastic deformation of the locking portion 22. Therefore, the closing portion 35 is located in the deformation permitting space 23 for the corresponding locking portion 22 in the fully engaged state to substantially restrict the elastic deformation of the locking portion 22.

Next, how the thus constructed joint connector 10 of this embodiment is assembled is described.

First, the joint housing 30 is partly fitted into the receptacle 26. Then, the partial-lock projections 38 substantially come into contact with the locking portion 29, the partial-lock projections 38 enter the receptacle 26, and the locking portion 29 is pushed outward to be slightly elastically deformed. The joint housing 30 is further inserted into the receptacle 26 while the locking portion 29 is pushed outward and slightly elastically deformed. When the partial-lock projections 38 reach the edge of the locking hole 27 as the joint housing 30 is further pushed in, the locking portion 29 is restored to its substantially original shape and is engaged between the partial-lock projections 38 and the full-lock projection 37A, with the result that the housing 20 and 30 are held partly engaged (see FIG. 6). At this time, the testing openings 25 are still left open.

The joint connector 10 is transported to a specified site of operation with the housings 20 and 30 partly engaged into a single unit. Since the joint connector 10 is transported to a specified site of operation with the housings 20, 30 partly engaged into a single unit, operability is better as compared to a case where the housings 20 and 30 are separately transported. In the partly engaged state, the joint terminal 32 projecting from the joint connector 30 is accommodated in the receptacle 26 and, therefore, is not exposed to the outside. This prevents the joint terminal 32 from being deformed and damaged.

Next, the female terminal fitting 40 is inserted into the specified cavity 21. Then, the locking projection 22A of the locking portion 22 comes substantially into contact with the bottom surface of the connection portion 41, and the locking portion 22 is elastically deformed to project toward the deformation permitting space 23 preferably located below. When the female terminal fitting 40 is pushed to its proper insertion position, the locking portion 22 is restored to its original shape and the locking projection 22A is fitted in the engaging hole 44, with the result that the female terminal fitting 40 is locked in the cavity 21 (see FIG. 7).

Subsequently, the electrical conduction test is or can be conducted to check whether or not the proper female terminal fittings 40 have been inserted into the respective cavities 21 (see FIG. 7). A bar-shaped probe 50 made of a conductive metal material is used for this electrical conduction test. The leading end of the probe 50 is constantly biased in a projecting direction by an unillustrated spring, and the female terminal fitting 40 and the probe 50 are or can be electrically connected by elastically pressing the leading end of the probe 50 against the wall surface of the female terminal fitting 40. This probe 50 is connected with an unillustrated electrical conduction testing circuit to detect an electrical conductive state between the female terminal fitting 40 in the cavity 21 and a terminal fitting, an electrical device or the like (not shown) connected with the other end of the wire 45 connected with the female terminal fitting 40.

As described above, the testing openings 25 communicating with the spaces below the cavities 21 in a direction from the outside are formed in the bottom wall of the female connector housing 20, and are left open when the housings 20 and 30 are partly engaged with each other. The probe 50 is inserted into each testing opening 25 from the outside of the female connector housing 20, and substantially enters the space below the corresponding cavity 21 to be pressed against the bottom surface of the female terminal fitting 40. In this way, the probe 50 and the female terminal fitting 40 are electrically brought into contact with each other, and the electrical conductive state thereof is detected by the electrical conduction testing circuit. As described above, the respective jig insertion openings 25 are open when the housings 20 and 30 are partly engaged. The probe 50 is vertically inserted into the female connector housing 20 through each jig insertion opening 25 to be pressed against the female terminal fitting 40 in the cavity 21.

If it is found out that the wrong female terminal fitting 40 has been inserted into the cavity 21 as a result of the electrical conduction test, this female terminal fitting 40 is withdrawn.

For the withdrawal of the female terminal fitting 40, a bar-shaped disengaging jig 51 is used to disengage the locking portion 22. This disengaging jig 51 is preferably obliquely inserted into the female connector housing 20 through the insertion or testing opening 25, which also serves as a disengaging opening or jig insertion opening, to catch the leading end or leading end portion of the locking portion 22 and push the locking portion 22 downward or away from the terminal fitting 40. After the locking projection 22A is disengaged from the engaging hole 44 in this way, the female terminal fitting 40 is or can be withdrawn from the cavity 21.

After the withdrawal of the wrong female terminal fitting 40, a proper one is inserted into this cavity 21.

After confirming that the female terminal fittings 40 have been inserted into the respective cavities 21 as had been planned, the joint housing 30 in its partly engaged state is pushed further toward the female connector housing 20. Then, the full-lock projection 37A is pushed into the receptacle 26 more inside than the locking portion 29 and the locking piece 37 is elastically deformed upward. If the joint housing 30 continues to be pushed until the full-lock projection 37A reaches the locking hole 27, the locking piece 37 is restored to its substantially original shape and the full-lock projection 37A slips into the locking hole 27, thereby being engaged therewith. As a result, the housings 20 and 30 are held fully engaged (see FIG. 9). At this time, the tabs 34 are coupled to the connection portions 41 to thereby connect the terminal fittings 32 and 40, and the respective female terminal fittings 40 are shorted to each other via the joint terminal 32. While the joint housing 30 is being pushed, the closing portions 35 move to close the testing openings 25 and the deformation restricting portions 36 enter the deformation permitting spaces 23 to restrict the deformation of the locking portions 22.

When the engaged state of the housings 20 and 30 is changed from the partly engaged state to the fully engaged state, the joint housing 30 cannot be fitted into the female connector housing 20 any further if the female terminal fitting 40 is insufficiently inserted without reaching its proper insertion position. This is because the leading end of the deformation restricting portion 36 comes into contact with the locking portion 22 since the elastically deformed locking portion 22 is still located in the deformation permitting space 23 as shown in FIG. 10. After detecting the insufficient insertion of the female terminal fitting 40 in this way, the female terminal fitting 40 is pushed to its proper insertion position and the joint housing 30 is then pushed into the receptacle 26 again.

The insufficient insertion of the female terminal fitting 40 can be confirmed by looking into the cavity 21 through the testing opening 25.

As described above, operability is improved according to this embodiment since the electrical conduction test can be conducted for the female terminal fittings 40 even if the housings 20 and 30 are partly engaged.

Further, operability is satisfactory since the testing openings 25 are closed at the same time the engaged state of the housings 20 and 30 is changed from the partly engaged state to the fully engaged state.

Furthermore, the female terminal fittings 40 can be securely locked since the elastic deformation of the locking portions 22 is restricted by the deformation restricting portions 36 as the housings 20 and 30 are fully engaged. Since the deformation restricting portions 36 are parts of the closing portions 35, construction can be simplified.

Further, since the testing openings 25 also serve as the disengaging openings, the locking portions 22 can be disengaged using the testing openings 25 or the electrical conduction test can be conducted for the female terminal fittings 40 using the jig insertion openings 25.

< Other Embodiments >

The present invention is not limited to the foregoing embodiments. For example, embodiments as described below are also embraced by the technical scope of the present invention as defined in the claims. Besides the following embodiments, a variety of changes can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined in the claims.

  • (1) Although the four cavities 21 are formed substantially side by side in the female connector housing 20 in the foregoing embodiment, the number thereof is not limited to 4, but may be 3 or less or 5 or more. Further, the cavities may be formed in two stages and the jig insertion openings may be formed in the top and bottom walls of the female connector housing.
  • (2) Although the testing openings 25 are provided below the cavities 41 in the foregoing embodiment, they may be formed above or at the side of the cavities 21.
  • (3) Although the four closing portions 35 individually close the testing openings 25 in the foregoing embodiment, the testing openings 25 may be closed together from the outside of the female connector housing. For example, a joint connector 70 shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 has a joint housing 71 provided with a hood-shaped receptacle 72, and a female connector housing 73 is at least partly fitted into the receptacle 72. The locking hole 27 and the locking portion 29 are provided in the upper wall of the receptacle 72, whereas the full-lock projection 37A and the partial-lock projections 38 are provided on the upper surface of the female connector housing 73. The housings 71 and 73 are held partly engaged and fully engaged substantially in the same manner as in the foregoing embodiment by the elements 27, 29, 37A and 38. In this construction, the bottom wall of the receptacle 72 serves as a testing opening closing portion 74. Testing openings 75 are substantially closed together from the outside of the female connector housing 73 by fully engaging the housings 71 and 73. Further, a deformation restricting portion 76 and the closing portion 74 may be separately provided as in this embodiment.
  • (4) In this embodiment, the bottom wall of the receptacle 72 serves as an insertion opening closing portion 74. Jig insertion openings 75 are closed together from the outside of the female connector housing 73 by fully engaging the housings 71 and 73. Further, a deformation restricting portion 76 and the closing portion 74 may be separately provided as in this embodiment.

In this embodiment, the projections 38 and the full-lock projection 37A are formed on the top wall of the female connector housing 73, and the lock hole 27 and the locking portion 29 are formed in the receptacle 72 of the joint housing 71. Here, no description is given on the functions of the respective elements to avoid the repetition since they are the same as in the foregoing embodiment.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

10
Joint Connector
20
Female Connector Housing
21
Cavity
22
Locking Portion (Elastic Locking Piece)
23
Deformation Permitting Space
25
Electrical Conduction Testing/Jig Insertion Opening (Insertion Opening)
30
Joint Housing
32
Joint Terminal
33
Base Portion
34
Tab
35
Testing Opening Closing Portion
36
Deformation Restricting Portion
40
Female Terminal Fitting
41
Connection Portion
50
Probe (Electrical Conduction Testing Jig)
51
Disengaging Jig


Anspruch[en]
  1. A joint connector, comprising:
    • one or more terminal fittings (40) connectable with a mating joint terminal (32),
    • a connector housing (20; 73) provided with one or more cavities (21) which are adapted to at least partly accommodate the terminal fittings (40),
    • a joint terminal (32) for shorting a plurality of the terminal fittings (40) to each other, and
    • a joint housing (30; 71) which is provided with the joint terminal (32) and engageable with the connector housing (20; 73),
       wherein one or more insertion openings (25) are formed in an outer wall of the connector housing (20; 73) for allowing an electrical contact of an electrical conduction testing jig (50) with the terminal fitting (40) when the electrical conduction testing jig (50) is inserted from the outside of the outer wall with the two housings (20, 30; 73, 71) being at least partly engaged.
  2. A joint connector according to claim 1, wherein each cavity (21) is provided with an elastic locking piece (22) for elastically engaging and locking the corresponding terminal fitting (40) when it is mounted in the cavity (21), and wherein the insertion openings (25) also serve as disengaging opening for allowing the insertion of a disengaging jig (51) for disengaging the terminal fittings (40) from the elastic locking pieces (22).
  3. A joint connector, comprising:
    • one or more terminal fittings (40) connectable with a mating joint terminal (32),
    • a connector housing (20; 73) provided with one or more cavities (21) which are adapted to at least partly accommodate the terminal fittings (40) and are each formed with an elastic locking piece (22) for elastically engaging the corresponding female terminal fitting to lock it in the cavity (21),
    • a joint terminal (32) for shorting a plurality of the terminal fittings (40) to each other, and
    • a joint housing (30; 71) which is provided with the joint terminal (32) and engageable with the connector housing (20; 73),
       wherein one or more insertion openings (25) through which a jig (51) for disengaging the elastic locking piece (22) from the terminal fitting (40) with the housings (20, 30; 73, 71) at least partly engaged are formed in an outer wall of the connector housing (20; 73) in proximity to the elastic locking pieces (22).
  4. A joint connector according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the housings (20, 30; 73, 71) are settable in a partly engaged state (FIG. 6) where they are partly engaged and in a substantially fully engaged state (FIG. 9) where they are substantially fully engaged to connect the terminal fittings (40) and the joint terminal (32), and wherein the joint housing (30; 71) is formed with an insertion opening closing portion (35; 74) for leaving the insertion openings (25) substantially open when the two housings (20, 30; 73, 71) are in the partly engaged state (FIG. 6) while substantially closing them when the two housings (20, 30; 73, 71) are in the substantially fully engaged state (FIG. 9).
  5. A joint connector according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the insertion opening closing portion (35; 74) is provided with a deformation restricting portion (36) which is inserted or insertable into a space (23) for permitting the elastic deformation of the elastic locking pieces (22), thereby restricting the elastic deformation of the elastic locking pieces (22).
  6. A joint connector according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the joint housing (30; 71) also has a function of insufficient insertion detecting means for detecting the insufficient insertion of the terminal fittings (40) into the respective cavities (21).
  7. A joint connector according to claim 6, wherein the insufficient insertion is detected by an engagement of the joint housing (30; 71) with the elastic locking piece (22) being deflected by the insufficiently inserted terminal fittings (40).






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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