(19)
(11)EP 1 610 605 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
22.05.2019 Bulletin 2019/21

(21)Application number: 05012005.4

(22)Date of filing:  03.06.2005
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H05K 7/14(2006.01)

(54)

Electrical module

Elektonisches Modul

Module électrique


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 15.06.2004 SE 0401532

(43)Date of publication of application:
28.12.2005 Bulletin 2005/52

(73)Proprietor: HMS Industrial Networks AB
302 45 Halmstad (SE)

(72)Inventors:
  • Malmberg, Leif
    305 93 Halmstad (SE)
  • Dahlström, Staffan
    310 40 Harplinge (SE)
  • Eliasson, Niklas
    310 38 Simlangdalen (SE)

(74)Representative: AWA Sweden AB 
P.O. Box 1066
251 10 Helsingborg
251 10 Helsingborg (SE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 1 610 605
FR-A1- 2 393 506
US-A- 5 458 432
DE-A1- 3 830 369
JP-U- S5 221 707
US-B1- 6 549 424
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the invention



    [0001] This invention is related to an electrical module, comprising a first electrical interface means, said module being attachable to an electrical device for connecting said first electrical interface means to said device.

    Description of related art



    [0002] Since electrical modules continue to develop in the computer industry, there is an increasing need for attachment of such modules in an electrical device after the electrical device has been assembled. Also, as these electrical modules develop there is a need to replace existing modules with a later version of that module or with a module with another function.

    [0003] Accordingly, there is a need for an easy and secure way to attach an electrical module to an electrical device and thereby connect an electrical interface means of said module to a corresponding electrical interface means of the electrical device.

    [0004] A known way to attach a module to a device is to attach the module by screws in threaded holes on the device. This way to attach the module has the drawback that the device has to comprise threaded holes, which cooperate with and coincide with the positioning of the screws on the module. Further, another problem with this way of attachment is that the device has to be opened to attach the module, via the screws, to the electrical device.

    [0005] Another known way to attach an electrical module to an electrical device is to use a snap lock. This way to attach the module to the device involves the need to modify the device so that it is equipped with a male or a female part of the snap lock. Further, if a module should be removed there is often a need for special tools to unlock the snap lock.

    [0006] Another problem with these known ways of attachment (see for example the publications US6305660 or JPS5221707U) is that the electrical interface means is exposed to forces that can damage said electrical interface.

    Summary of the invention



    [0007] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an electrical module that is attachable to an electrical device in an easy way.

    [0008] It is a further object of the present invention to provide an electrical module which is attachable to an electrical device without the need of opening the electrical device.

    [0009] Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical module which may be attached to an electrical device in a secure way, whereby the electrical interface means of the module and the device are not damaged.

    [0010] These and other objects have been achieved by providing an electrical module, comprising a first electrical interface means, said module being insertable in an opening of an electrical device for electrically connecting said first electrical interface means to said device. The module comprises at least one locking means adapted to prevent movement of said module in relation to said electrical device in at least one direction, by protruding in a locking position out of the electrical module. Said locking means comprises a first part in the form of a screw which is adapted to move linearly, in relation to said electrical module, along a direction of a first axis, a second part being adapted to engage with an edge in said electrical device, and being movable to a locking position by turning about a second axis, said second axis extending along a direction which is different from the direction of said first axis. Said screw being adapted to engage the second part and push on the second part such that the second part turns around the second axis and protrudes out of the electrical module, such that said second part, by rotation as a response to the movement of the screw, engages with the edge in said electrical device and pushes the module inwardly into the opening of the electrical device towards the locking position and ensures that the first electrical interface means and the device are properly connected.

    [0011] An advantage of the electrical module according to the present invention is that it may be attached to an electrical device without the need of opening the device.

    [0012] A further advantage of the electrical module according to the present invention is that it provides a way to attach and reattach the module to many different electrical devices, which devices only need minor adaptation to cooperate with said module.

    [0013] Another advantage of the inventive electrical module is that it provides a module that may be attached to a device in a secure and reliable way.

    [0014] Another advantage of the inventive electrical module is that it provides a module that may be attached to a device in such a way that the electrical interface means of the module and the device are connected in an easy and secure way.

    [0015] To obtain an even more secure attachment to an electrical device the electrical module may comprise two locking means. This provides the advantage that the module is prevented from movement by turning.

    [0016] Said at least one direction may include a direction which is opposite to said linear movement of the first part along said first axis.

    [0017] Said at least one direction may include a direction which is opposite to the direction in which the first electrical interface means is directed. This provides the advantage that the electrical interface means is not exposed to forces that may damage or disconnect the electrical interface means.

    [0018] To obtain an electrical module that may interact with a further electrical device, or a network, it may comprise a second electrical interface means that is connectable to a second electrical device.

    [0019] The electrical module may further comprise a projection adapted to define an attachment position of said module in relation to said electronic device, in which attachment position said second part is movable by turning to said locking position for engagement with said electrical device. The projections provide an even more secure and easy attachment of the module to a device and provide the advantage that the module is prevented from movement in a further direction. Depending on the shape of the projection, the module may be prevented from movement in all directions.

    [0020] Said second part of the electrical module may be freely supported in said locking means. This provides the advantage that the second part does not need a physical axle that is supported in the module. This also provides the advantage that the dimension of the locking means of the module may be minimised.

    [0021] By freely supported is meant that the second part rests on a recess and is not only supported by a physical axle.

    [0022] To obtain a second part without a physical axle in an easy, secure and effective way, the second part of the electrical module may comprise a cam portion that has the shape of an arc.

    [0023] The first part of the electrical device may comprise a screw. This provides the advantage that there is no need of a special tool to move the first part. Also, the second part is locked in its locking position in an easy and secure way.

    [0024] Another aspect of the present invention relates to a method of attaching an electrical module according to the invention to an electrical device, comprising the steps of positioning the electrical module in relation to the electrical device, moving the first part in a linear direction and thereby causing the second part to turn and engage an abutment means of the electrical device for preventing movement of the electrical module in relation to the electrical device in at least one direction.

    [0025] Thus, a method of attaching the inventive electrical module to an electrical device is obtained that provides the above stated advantages of the inventive electrical module.

    [0026] Another aspect of the present invention relates to a system comprising an electrical module and an electrical device. The system is characterised in that the electrical module is an electrical module according to the invention and that the electrical device comprises an abutment means with which said second part of the locking means is adapted to engage when in its locking position.

    [0027] Thus, also a system is obtained that provides the above stated advantages of the inventive electrical module.

    [0028] Hereafter one embodiment of the present invention is described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings.

    Brief description of the drawings



    [0029] 

    Fig 1 is a view from above of an electrical module according to the present invention.

    Fig 2 is an exploded view of an electrical module in accordance with the invention.

    Fig 3-5 are cross sectional views of the inventive electrical module along the line A-A in fig 1, showing the locking of the electrical module to an electrical device.


    Detailed description of preferred embodiment



    [0030] Fig 1 and 2 disclose an electrical module 1 in the form of a communication unit 1. The communication unit 1 may by way of example be used as an interface between a computer and a network. However, it should be understood that the electrical module 1 could constitute many other modules, such as a portable memory, a portable CD-ROM writer etc.

    [0031] The communication unit 1 can be attached and connected to an electrical device such as a computer, not disclosed. On one side the communication unit 1 is connectable to an electrical device and a second side is connectable to a further electrical device, such as a machine, a network or a second computer.

    [0032] The communication unit 1 comprises a bottom plate 2 including two holes 3. A base 4 with the shape of a lying L is fastened on the bottom plate 2. The base 4 comprises a horizontal plate 5 and a vertical plate 6. The communication unit 1 also comprises electronic equipment 10 which in one way or another process the information from said devices. The electronic equipment 10 is mounted on the horizontal plate 5 of the base 4. Further, the vertical plate 5 of the base 4 comprises a trough hole 7. The communication unit also comprises a first and a second electrical interface means 11, 8, which are connected to the electrical equipment 10. The first electrical interface means 11 is mounted on the horizontal plate 5 at the other end of said horizontal plate 5, opposite to the vertical plate 6. The second electrical interface means 8 is mounted on the vertical plate 6 and it extends from one side of the vertical plate 6 to the other. The second electrical interface means 8 has on the outer side a contact 9. Thus, the communication unit 1 may be connected to two different electrical devices at the same time.

    [0033] A housing 12 is mounted on top of the bottom plate 2. The housing 12 and the bottom plate 2 surround the electronic equipment 10. The housings 12 may also comprise grooves, not disclosed, in which the electrical device may be inserted to improve the attachment of the electrical module.

    [0034] The housing 12 comprises two projections 14. The projections are mounted on the side of the housing 12 that is directed towards the bottom plate 2. The projections 14 has an L-shape that is directed downwards and backwards against the first electronic interface means 11, so that they are able to restrict movements in these directions. However, it should be understood that the projections 14 may have many other shapes and still obtain similar effects. As an example, the projections could have a shape being able to prevent the communication unit 1 from movement in three directions.

    [0035] The communication unit 1 also comprises a flange plate 26. The flange plate 26 is attached to the vertical plate 6 on the side of the vertical plate 26 that is directed away from the electrical equipment 10. The flange plate 26 reinforces the communication unit 1 and protects it from external forces.

    [0036] Further, the communication unit 1 comprises two locking means 15, which are able to attach the communication unit 1 to an electrical device. The locking means 15 are located on each side of the communication unit 1, so that it can be attached to the electrical device and prevent movement in the same direction as the first electronic interface means 11 is directed. The locking means 15 comprises a first part 16 and a second part 17.

    [0037] In the disclosed embodiment the first part 16 is a screw 16, to be inserted in a threaded hole 18 in the vertical plate 6 of the base 4. The screw 16 comprises a screw head 19 which is directed away from the electrical equipment 10 of the communication unit 1. It should be understood that the invention is not restricted to screws. The first part 16 may be constituted from many other fastening means that have the characteristics of that they can be moved in a linear direction and be locked in different positions.

    [0038] The second part 17 has the general shape of two interconnected circular segments. The second part 17 is freely supported in a recess 20 inside of the housing 12, such that it may be turned about a geometrical axis. The shape of the recess 20 may define the turning ability of the second part 17. When the first part 16 engage the second part 16 it pushes the second part 17 against the recess 20 such that it is forced to turn about said axis. It is however not necessary that the second part 17 is freely supported in the housing 12, it may also be supported via an axle.

    [0039] Fig 3 to 5 discloses the attachment of the communication unit 1 to an electrical device. In the disclosed embodiment the electrical device is a printed circuit card 21. An exterior wall 22, of for example a computer, comprising an opening 23 surrounds the printed circuit card 21.

    [0040] The printed circuit card 21 comprises two edges 24 and an electrical interface means 25, which is adapted to be connected to the first electrical interface means 11 of the communication unit 1.

    [0041] The communication unit 1 is inserted in the opening 23 of the exterior 22 and located on the printed circuit card 21. Further, the communication unit 1 is pressed inwards in respect of the opening 23 so that the projections 14 of the housing make contact with one side of the printed circuit card 21 and the second part is located over the edges 24 on the printed circuit card 21. In this position the first electrical interface means 11 of the communication unit 1 also makes contact with the corresponding electrical interface means 25 of the printed circuit card 21.

    [0042] Hereafter the screw 16 is tightened so that it moves inwardly. The screw 16 makes contact with an upper side of the second part 17. As the screw 16 moves further inwards, the second part 17 turns around an axis, not showing, which is located between the screw 16 and the printed circuit card 21. The turning of the second part 17 around said axis results in that a portion of the second part 17 protrude through the hole in the bottom sheet 2 and makes contact with the edge 24 of the printed circuit card 21. The further turning of the second part 17 as a response to the movement of the screw pushes the communication unit 1 further on to the printed circuit card 21. This movement make the side of the printed circuit card 21 to be positioned on the projections 14 and ensures that the electrical interfaces means 11, 25 of the communication unit 1 and the printed circuit card 21 are properly connected.

    [0043] Thus, in this position the second part 17 and the projections prevents movement of the printed circuit card 21 in relation to the communication unit 1. The screw 16 and the housing 12 secure the second part 17 so that it is unable to move.

    [0044] If the communication unit 1 should be removed from the printed circuit card 21, the screws 16 are unscrewed in the opposite direction. Thereafter, there is nothing that prevents movement of the second parts 17 and as the communication unit 1 is pulled backwards through the opening 23 of said exterior 22 the second parts 17 turns so that they disengage the edges 24. The second parts 17 may also be preloaded so that they turn and disengage the edges 24 when the screws are unscrewed.

    [0045] Further, the communication unit may thereafter be attached and connected to another electrical device.

    [0046] This invention has been disclosed in terms of an embodiment. It will be apparent that many modifications may be made to the disclosed electrical module without departing from the invention. Therefore, the present inventions should be considered limited only by the scope of the claims.


    Claims

    1. An electrical module (1), comprising a first electrical interface means (11), said module (1) being insertable in an opening of an electrical device for electrically connecting said first electrical interface means (11) to said device,
    the module comprising:

    at least one locking means (15) adapted to prevent movement of said module (1) in relation to said electrical device in at least one direction, by protruding in a locking position out of the electrical module,

    said locking means (15) comprising:

    a first part in the form of a screw (16) which is adapted to move linearly, in relation to said electrical module, along a direction of a first axis,

    a second part (17) being adapted to engage with an edge (24) in said electrical device, and being movable to a locking position by turning about a second axis, said second axis extending along a direction which is different from the direction of said first axis,

    said screw (16) being adapted to engage the second part (17) and push on the second part (17) such that the second part (17) turns around the second axis and protrudes out of the electrical module, such that said second part (17), by rotation as a response to the movement of the screw (16), engages with the edge (24) in said electrical device and pushes the module (1) inwardly into the opening of the electrical device towards the locking position and ensures that the first electrical interface means (11) and the device are properly connected.


     
    2. An electrical module (1) as claimed in claim 1, comprising two locking means (15).
     
    3. An electrical module (1) as claimed in claims 1 or 2, wherein said at least one direction include a direction which is opposite to said linear movement of the first part (16) along said first axis.
     
    4. An electrical module (1) as claimed in any of claims 1 to 3, wherein said at least one direction include a direction which is opposite to the direction in which the first electrical interface means (11) is directed.
     
    5. An electrical module (1) as claimed in any of claims 1 to 4, further comprising a second electrical interface means (8) that is connectable to a second electrical device.
     
    6. An electrical module (1) as claimed in any of claims 1 to 5, further comprising a projection (14) adapted to define an attachment position of said module (1) in relation to said electrical device, in which attachment position said second part (17) is movable by turning to said locking position for engagement with said electrical device.
     
    7. An electrical module (1) as claimed in any of claims 1 to 6, wherein said second part (17) is freely supported in said locking means (15).
     
    8. An electrical module (1) as claimed in any of claims 1 to 7, wherein the second part (17) comprises a cam portion that has the shape of an arc.
     
    9. System comprising an electrical module and an electrical device,
    characterised in that
    the electrical module is an electrical module (1) according to any of claims 1 to 8 and that the electrical device comprises an abutment means with which said second part of the locking means (15) is adapted to engage when in its locking position.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Elektrisches Modul (1), umfassend ein erstes elektrisches Schnittstellenmittel (11), wobei das Modul (1) in eine Öffnung einer elektrischen Vorrichtung zum elektrischen Anschließen des ersten elektrischen Schnittstellenmittels (11) an die Vorrichtung einführbar ist,
    das Modul Folgendes umfassend:

    mindestens ein Verriegelungsmittel (15), welches eingerichtet ist, eine Bewegung des Moduls (1) in Bezug auf die elektrische Vorrichtung in mindestens eine Richtung zu verhindern, indem es in einer Verriegelungsposition aus dem elektrischen Modul vorsteht,

    das Verriegelungsmittel (15) Folgendes umfassend:

    einen ersten Teil in der Form einer Schraube (16), welche eingerichtet ist, sich linear in Bezug auf das elektrische Modul entlang einer Richtung einer ersten Achse zu bewegen,

    wobei ein zweiter Teil (17) eingerichtet ist, mit einer Kante (24) in der elektrischen Vorrichtung einzugreifen, und durch Drehen um eine zweite Achse auf eine Verriegelungsposition beweglich ist, wobei sich die zweite Achse entlang einer Richtung erstreckt, welche von der Richtung der ersten Achse verschieden ist,

    wobei die Schraube (16) eingerichtet ist, den zweiten Teil (17) in Eingriff zu bringen und derartig auf den zweiten Teil (17) zu drücken, dass sich der zweite Teil (17) um die zweite Achse dreht und derartig aus dem elektrischen Modul vorsteht, dass der zweite Teil (17) durch Rotation als eine Reaktion auf die Bewegung der Schraube (16) mit der Kante (24) in der elektrischen Vorrichtung eingreift und das Modul (1) einwärts in die Öffnung der elektrischen Vorrichtung in Richtung auf die Verriegelungsposition drückt und gewährleistet, dass das erste elektrische Schnittstellenmittel (11) und die Vorrichtung sachgerecht verbunden sind.


     
    2. Elektrisches Modul (1) nach Anspruch 1, zwei Verriegelungsmittel (15) umfassend.
     
    3. Elektrisches Modul (1) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei die mindestens eine Richtung eine Richtung umfasst, welche der linearen Bewegung des ersten Teils (16) entlang der ersten Achse entgegengesetzt ist.
     
    4. Elektrisches Modul (1) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei die mindestens eine Richtung eine Richtung umfasst, welche der Richtung entgegengesetzt ist, in welche das erste elektrische Schnittstellenmittel (11) gerichtet ist.
     
    5. Elektrisches Modul (1) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, weiterhin ein zweites elektrisches Schnittstellenmittel (8) umfassend, welches an eine zweite elektrische Vorrichtung anschließbar ist.
     
    6. Elektrisches Modul (1) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, weiterhin einen Vorsprung (14) umfassend, welcher eingerichtet ist, eine Befestigungsposition des Moduls (1) in Bezug auf die elektrische Vorrichtung zu definieren, wobei der zweite Teil (17) in der Befestigungsposition durch Drehen auf die Verriegelungsposition zum Eingriff mit der elektrischen Vorrichtung beweglich ist.
     
    7. Elektrisches Modul (1) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei der zweite Teil (17) in dem Verriegelungsmittel (15) frei gestützt ist.
     
    8. Elektrisches Modul (1) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7, wobei der zweite Teil (17) einen Nockenabschnitt umfasst, welcher die Form eines Bogens aufweist.
     
    9. System, ein elektrisches Modul und eine elektrische Vorrichtung umfassend, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    das elektrische Modul ein elektrisches Modul (1) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 8 ist und dass die elektrische Vorrichtung ein Anschlagmittel umfasst, mit welchem der zweite Teil des Verriegelungsmittels (15) eingerichtet ist, einzugreifen, wenn er in seiner Verriegelungsposition ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Module électrique (1), comprenant un premier moyen d'interface électrique (11), ledit module (1) pouvant être inséré dans une ouverture d'un dispositif électrique pour connecter électriquement ledit premier moyen d'interface électrique (11) audit dispositif,
    le module comprenant :

    au moins un moyen de verrouillage (15) adapté pour empêcher le mouvement dudit module (1) relativement audit dispositif électrique dans au moins une direction, en dépassant dans une position de verrouillage hors du module électrique,

    ledit moyen de verrouillage (15) comprenant :

    une première partie sous la forme d'une vis (16) qui est adaptée pour se déplacer linéairement, relativement audit module électrique, le long d'une direction d'un premier axe,

    une seconde partie (17) étant adaptée pour venir en prise avec un bord (24) dans ledit dispositif électrique et étant déplaçable dans une position de verrouillage en tournant autour d'un second axe, ledit second axe s'étendant le long d'une direction qui est différente de la direction dudit premier axe,

    ladite vis (16) étant adaptée pour venir en prise avec la seconde partie (17) et pousser sur la seconde partie (17) de sorte que la seconde partie (17) tourne autour du second axe et dépasse du module électrique, de sorte que ladite seconde partie (17), par une rotation en réponse au mouvement de la vis (16), vienne en prise avec le bord (24) dans ledit dispositif électrique et pousse le module (1) vers l'intérieur dans l'ouverture dispositif électrique dans la direction de la position de verrouillage et assure que le premier moyen d'interface électrique (11) et le dispositif soient correctement connectés.


     
    2. Module électrique (1) selon la revendication 1, comprenant deux moyens de verrouillage (15).
     
    3. Module électrique (1) selon une quelconque des revendications 1 ou 2, dans lequel ladite au moins une direction inclut une direction qui est opposée audit mouvement linéaire de la première partie (16) le long dudit premier axe.
     
    4. Module électrique (1) selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans lequel ladite au moins une direction inclut une direction qui est opposée à la direction dans laquelle le premier moyen d'interface électrique (11) est dirigé.
     
    5. Module électrique (1) selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, comprenant en outre un second moyen d'interface électrique (8) qui peut être connecté à un second dispositif électrique.
     
    6. Module électrique (1) selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, comprenant en outre une protubérance (14) adaptée pour définir une position de fixation dudit module (1) relativement audit dispositif électrique, dans laquelle position de fixation de ladite seconde partie (17) est déplaçable en tournant dans ladite position de verrouillage pour venir en prise avec ledit dispositif électrique.
     
    7. Module électrique (1) selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans lequel ladite seconde partie (17) est soutenu librement dans ledit moyen de verrouillage (15).
     
    8. Module électrique (1) selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7, dans lequel la seconde partie (17) comprend une portion de came qui a la forme d'un arc.
     
    9. Système comprenant un module électrique un dispositif électrique, caractérisée en ce que le module électrique est un module électrique (1) selon une quelconque des revendications 1 à 8 et en ce que le dispositif électrique comprend un moyen de butée avec lequel ladite seconde partie du moyen de verrouillage (15) est adaptée pour venir en prise quand elle se trouve dans sa position de verrouillage.
     




    Drawing











    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description