(19)
(11)EP 2 395 528 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
14.12.2011 Bulletin 2011/50

(21)Application number: 10252111.9

(22)Date of filing:  14.12.2010
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01H 13/04  (2006.01)
H01H 13/48  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME

(30)Priority: 02.06.2010 JP 2010126781

(71)Applicant: SMK Corporation
Tokyo 142-0041 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • Yoshida, Haruo
    Tokyo (JP)
  • Oishi, Ryotaro
    Tokyo (JP)

(74)Representative: Thompson, Trevor George et al
Edwards Wildman Innovations LLP 10 Carlton Crescent
Southampton SO15 2EZ
Southampton SO15 2EZ (GB)

  


(54)Lateral press push switch for a compact electronic device


(57) Problem:
To provide a lateral press push switch for a compact electronic device that has the capability to install with a relative positional relationship that allows the main board of the compact electronic device to be positioned at a central position in the height direction of the rear surface of the lateral press push switch.
Solution Means
The present invention provides a switch component (11) on the front surface of molded case (10) made a flat plate shape and fixed to the side surface of exterior case (30) of a mobile compact electronic device, and arranging such that main board opposing connection piece (20 and 21) projects from the peripheral surface as facing the thickness direction of the flat plate shape of molded case (10), and main board opposing connection piece (20 and 21) is structured of vertically facing projection component (25) that projects from molded case (10), contact spring component (26) that has bent the leading end of vertically facing connection component (25) at an angle toward the molded case rear surface side, and connection component (27) of a shape that has curved the leading end of contact spring component (26) in the opposite direction of the previous incline direction. The leading end of contact spring component (26) can be extended to a central section position of the rear surface of molded case (10), such that connection component (27) makes elastic contact against the pad of the surface of main board (31) within the mobile compact electronic device.




Description

Technical Field



[0001] This invention relates to lateral press push switches for compact electronic devices installed on a side surface of a device external case having a thin box or plate shape, primarily for compact mobile electronic devices such as mobile telephones.

Background Technology



[0002] Formerly, with compact mobile devices such as mobile telephones, on a front surface of the device external case having a thin box shape there have been provided push switches for ten-key and character input and various operations. Additionally, there are used various push switches on the side of the device external case, specifically, on a surface of a thickness direction. This push switch on the device external case side surface opposes a printed circuit main board (hereafter, "main board") housed within the device external case, and the switch is a lateral press type that operates in the direction orthogonal to the surface of the board.

[0003] With this kind of lateral press push switch of the former technology, the connection with the main board is of a type that mounts switch 2 on the surface of main board 1, as shown in Figure 5, for example, and arranges to cause exposure of related operating component 4 from the hole in the side surface of device external case 3 (Patent Citation 1, for example). Alternatively, the switch 2 is fixed against the side surface frame of the device external case 3 with operating component 4 caused to be exposed, as shown in Figure 6, and causes contact of contact terminal 5 comprising an elastic contact spring projected from the rear surface of the switch case against the surface of connection pad 6 being a printed circuit on the main board surface (Patent Citation 2, Drawing 4, for example).

Prior Art Citations


Patent Citations



[0004] Patent Citation 1: Japan Unexamined Patent Application Publication 2004-079220. Patent Citation 2: Japan Unexamined Patent Application Publication 2007-149491

Overview of the Invention


Problem the Invention Seeks to Solve



[0005] With this kind of former technology lateral press push switch utilized on a compact electronic device, for the situation in which the switch will be caused to contact the main board within the electronic device, when mounting onto the main board surface, as shown in Figure 5, a space at the surface side above the main board was required at the height of the switch, in order that the switch body would be fixed to the main board surface side, and this was a limitation on making the device external case thinner.

[0006] On the other hand, even with the switch that projects a contact terminal comprising an elastic contact spring from the rear surface of the switch case and causes the terminal to pressure contact against the pad on the surface of the main board, as shown in Figure 6. The set projection position of the connection spring causes projection from the surface somewhat higher or lower on the switch case, and therefore the relative position against the main board was biased somewhat higher or lower toward that side. This was a problem in not enabling the main board to be positioned in the center section of the upper and lower direction of the lateral press push switch.

[0007] In consideration of such problems with the former technology, this invention has the purpose of providing a lateral press push switch for a compact electronic device that has the capability to install with a relative positional relationship that allows the main board of the compact electronic device to be positioned at a central position in the height direction of the rear surface of the lateral press push switch.

Means of Solving the Problem



[0008] To solve the above described former technology problem and attain the expected purpose, the feature of the invention according to Claim 1 is providing a molded case having a flat plate shape and fixed to the exterior case side surface of a mobile compact electronic device, and having a switch component on the surface of said molded case, and being arranged such that a main board opposing connection piece projects from the peripheral surface facing the thickness direction of said flat plate shape of said molded case, and said main board opposing connection piece comprises a vertically facing projection component that projects from said molded case, a connection spring component that has bent the leading end of said vertically facing connection component at an angle towards the molded case rear surface side, and a connection component of a shape that has curved the leading end of said connection spring component in the opposite direction of the previous inclined direction, and the leading end of said contact spring component is extended to a central section position on said molded case rear surface, such that said connection component makes elastic contact against the pad of the main board surface within said mobile compact electronic device.

[0009] The feature of the invention according to Claim 2, added to the structure of Claim 1, is the forming, at said peripheral surface of said molded case, a concave section that has hollowed said peripheral surface toward the molded case center, and has shortened the length of the vertically facing connection component of said main board opposing connection piece to be shorter than the depth of said concave section.

[0010] Viewed from a further aspect, the present invention relates to a lateral press push switch for mounting in an exterior case of a compact electronic device, such as a mobile telephone. The lateral press push switch comprises a molded case for fixed mounting on a side surface of the exterior case of the compact electronic device. At least one switch component is provided on the surface of the molded case. The lateral press push switch is characterized by at least one main board opposing connection piece comprising: a projection component that projects from the molded case; a connection spring component at the leading end of said projection component being inclined at an angle towards a rear surface of the molded case; and a contact component. The contact component can be curved and/or extend in the opposite direction to the preceding inclined direction. In use, the leading end of said connection spring component can extend towards a central position in relation to the thickness of the molded case. Thus, the contact component operatively makes elastic contact against a pad on a main board surface within said mobile compact electronic device. The present invention also relates to a lateral press push switch of the type described herein in combination with an exterior case of a compact electronic device.

[0011] The main board surface can be arranged substantially parallel to a major surface of the molded case. The main board opposing connection piece (or the projection component) can extend vertically in a plane substantially perpendicular to the surface of the main board. The leading end of the connection spring component can extend towards a rear surface of the molded case. The contact component is formed at the distal end of the connection spring component (i.e. the leading end of the projection component):

Effect of the Invention



[0012] With the lateral press push switch for a compact electronic device according to this invention, a main board opposing connection piece projects from the peripheral surface as facing the thickness direction of said flat plate shape of said molded case, and said main board opposing connection piece is structured of a vertically facing projection component that projects from said molded case, a connection spring component that has bent the leading end of said vertically facing connection component at an angle toward the molded case rear surface side, and a connection component of a shape that has curved the leading end of said connection spring component in the opposite direction of the previous incline direction, and the leading end of said contact spring component is extended to a central section position on said molded case rear surface, such that said connection component makes elastic contact against the pad of the main board surface within said mobile compact electronic device. In an operative position the switch is fixed against the side surface of the compact electronic device. This arrangement enables use of a relative positional relationship that results in the main board of said electronic device being set to a central height position of said molded case. Thus, there is provided a placement space for various electronic components above and below the main board, resulting in ability to make thinner the mobile compact electronic device.

[0013] In addition, with this invention, at said peripheral surface of said molded case, a concave section that has hollowed said peripheral surface toward the molded case center, and by having shortened the length of the vertically facing connection component of said main board opposing connection piece to be shorter than the depth of said concave section. This arrangement allows the main board opposing connection piece to be set within the height of the molded case, and the installation space for the lateral press push switch becomes smaller, contributing to the making thinner of the mobile compact electronic device.

[0014] Unless indicated otherwise, the terms "connection" and "contact" are intended to have the same meaning herein. As such, these terms are interchangeable within the meaning of the present invention.

[0015] A preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying Figures, in which:

Figure 1 is a cross section drawing that shows the usage condition of the lateral press push switch for a compact electronic device according to this invention.

Figure 2 is a plane view drawing of the lateral press push switch for a compact electronic device according to this invention.

Figure 3 is a horizontal view drawing of the same.

Figure 4 is a side view drawing of the same.

Figure 5 is a cross section drawing that shows the usage condition of a lateral press push switch for a compact electronic device of the former technology.

Figure 6 is a vertical cross section drawing of another example of the same.


Mode for Implementing the Invention



[0016] The following section describes an implementation mode for this invention based on the embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 4.

[0017] In the drawings, symbol A is the lateral press push switch for a compact electronic device according to this invention, and 10 is the flat-shaped molded case that has been made rectangular. Molded case 10 is made a rectangular flat shape, and the front surface becomes a flat switch operational surface.

[0018] In the drawings, 11 is the switch component that has been assembled on the surface of molded case 10. Switch component 11 forms a so-called metal tact switch, and it comprises a housing 12 formed in a recess provided in the front surface of the molded case 10, a first switch terminal 13 exposed at the center section of the bottom surface of the housing 12, a second switch terminal 14 exposed at the peripheral section of the bottom surface, and a dome-shaped contact piece 15 embedded in the housing 12. The opening of housing 12 is sealed with a sheet-shaped elastic cover 16.

[0019] Each switch component 11 is in a condition in which, during the normal state of dome-shaped contact piece 15, the peripheral component of contact piece 15 is contacting the second switch terminal 14 but the center section of contact piece 15 is separated from first switch terminal 13. Then, by executing a pressing operation on the surface of elastic cover 16, the contact piece 15 reverses curvature, becoming such that the center section of contact piece 15 contacts the first switch terminal 13 while in the condition in which the peripheral component of contact piece 15 has contacted second switch terminal 14.

[0020] Each switch component 11 and 12 is integrally established to project to lead piece 17 and 18 embedded within an inset formation on molded case 10. To each lead piece 17 and 18 there is integrally formed a main board opposing connection piece 20 and 21 projected from the peripheral surface facing in a thickness direction of the molded case 10. In the present embodiment, the main board opposing connection pieces 20 and 21 project from the lower surface of the molded case 10.

[0021] The main board opposing connection pieces 20 and 21 project from the lower surface of a concave section 10a. The concave section 10a has a shape that the lower surface of molded case 10 is hollowed inwardly. The opposing connection pieces 20 and 21 are each structured of vertically facing protrusion component 25 that projects with vertical facing from molded case 10, contact spring component 26 that has bent the leading end of the vertically facing protruding component in the inclined upward direction toward the molded case rear surface side, and contact component 27 of a shape that has curved the leading end of contact spring component 26 downward.

[0022] The length of vertically facing protrusion component 25 of main board opposing connection piece 20 and 21 is made smaller than the depth of concave section 10a, and this allows main board opposing connection piece 20 and 21 to be formed so as not to protrude from the lowest surface of molded case 10.

[0023] In addition, the leading end of contact spring component 26 extends to a height position at the central section of the height direction of molded case 10, and contact component 27 is formed to be at a position higher than the most inner edge of concave component 10 within molded case 10.

[0024] When utilizing the lateral press push switch so structured, as shown in Figure 1, molded case 10 is fixed within an external case 30 of a compact mobile electronic device such as a mobile telephone in which a main board 31 has been fixed in parallel with the external case. The front surface side of the molded case 10 is exposed from a side surface of the external case 30, and with the height direction of molded case 10 facing the thickness direction of external case 30.

[0025] Relative to main board 31, contact component 27 of contact spring component 26 protruding toward the main board rear surface side is made to elastically contact against a pad component on the lower surface of main board 31.

[0026] In this way, by arranging the spring component 26 such that there is an elastic contact against the main board 31 due to contact component 27 at the leading end of contact spring component 26 being at the central height position of the molded case rear surface, the height of the lateral press push switch, even if a size near the height of external case 30, enables positioning of main board 31 at a central height section of the rear surface of the molded case. This arrangement enables a placement space for various electronic components to be established on the upper and lower surfaces of main board 31, and thereby contributing to making the mobile compact electronic device thinner.

[0027] Furthermore, with this embodiment, concave section 10a is disposed at the lower surface center of molded case 10, but it is also acceptable to form concave section 10a at the upper surface of molded case 10. Indeed, other than disposing the section at the upper or lower surface of molded case 10, it is acceptable to establish it at both sides or at another peripheral surface.

[0028] Moreover, the embodiment described above presented that which disposed the switch component in two places, but it is acceptable to establish the switch component in one place or in three or more places.

Description of the Symbols



[0029] 
10
Molded Case
10A
Concave Section
11
Switch Component
12
Housing
13
First Switch Terminal
14
Second Switch Terminal
15
Dome-Shaped Contact Piece
16
Elastic Cover
17, 18
Lead Piece
20, 21
Main Board Opposing Connection Piece
25
Vertically Facing Projection Component
26
Contact Spring
27
Contact Component
30
External Case
31
Main Board



Claims

1. A lateral press push switch (A) for a compact electronic device, the lateral press push switch (A) comprising a molded case (10) having a flat plate shape and fixed to an exterior case side surface of a mobile compact electronic device, wherein a switch component (11) is provided on a surface of said molded case (10),
the lateral press push switch (A) being characterized by a main board opposing connection piece (20, 21) projecting from a peripheral surface and facing in a thickness direction of said flat plate shape of said molded case, and said main board opposing connection piece (20, 21) comprising a vertically facing projection component (25) that projects from said molded case (10), a connection spring component (26) bent at a leading end of said vertically facing connection component at an angle toward a molded case rear surface side, and a connection component (27) of a shape having a curve such that the leading end of said connection spring component (26) extends in the opposite direction to the previous inclined direction,
and the leading end of said connection spring component (26) is extended to a central section position in relation to said molded case rear surface, such that said connection component (27) makes elastic contact against a pad on a main board surface (31) within said mobile compact electronic device.
 
2. A lateral press push switch (A) for a compact electronic device according to Claim 1 that forms, at said peripheral surface of said molded case (10), a concave section that has hollowed said peripheral surface toward the molded case center, and has shortened the length of the vertically facing connection component (25) of said main board opposing connection piece (20, 21) to be shorter than the depth of said concave section.
 




Drawing



















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