(19)
(11)EP 3 026 759 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/20

(21)Application number: 15194825.4

(22)Date of filing:  16.11.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01R 12/58  (2011.01)
H01R 12/71  (2011.01)
H01R 43/20  (2006.01)

(54)

CONNECTOR WITH STABILIZATION MEMBERS AND METHOD OF ASSEMBLY

VERBINDER MIT STABILISIERUNGSELEMENTEN UND MONTAGEVERFAHREN

CONNECTEUR AVEC ÉLÉMENTS DE STABILISATION ET PROCÉDÉ D'ASSEMBLAGE


(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

(30)Priority: 26.11.2014 US 201414555033

(43)Date of publication of application:
01.06.2016 Bulletin 2016/22

(73)Proprietor: TE Connectivity Corporation
Berwyn, PA 19312 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Defibaugh, George Richard
    Harrisburg, PA Pennsylvania 17111 (US)
  • Daubert, Fieldon Nathan
    Annville, PA Pennsylvania 17003 (US)
  • Lantzy II, John Philip
    Oak Ridge, NC North Carolina 27310 (US)
  • Olson, Joseph Richard
    Palmyra, PA Pennsylvania 17078 (US)

(74)Representative: Johnstone, Douglas Ian et al
Baron Warren Redfern 1000 Great West Road
Brentford TW8 9DW
Brentford TW8 9DW (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 0 357 375
EP-A2- 0 901 188
EP-A2- 0 810 697
DE-A1- 10 229 007
  
      
    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


    [0001] The present invention is directed to a connector with stabilization members and a method of assembly to support the connector on a substrate prior to termination of the connector to the substrate. In particular, the invention is directed to a connector with stabilization members which are movable as the connector is terminated to the substrate.

    [0002] Connector assemblies for use with substrates, including printed circuit boards are known in the industry. The connector assembly customarily includes a plurality of contacts arranged in some manner such that upon mating to the printed circuit board electrical continuity is effectively established between the connector contacts and conducting paths or strips defined in the board. Usually, these contacts are spring loaded or otherwise resiliently pressed against the printed circuit board so that an appropriate contact force is developed to hold the board and connector together as a composite unit. Further, the force developed must be of such magnitude to insure that a sufficient low resistance connection is established and maintained between the printed circuit board conductive strips or paths and the resilient contacts of the connector itself.

    [0003] However, prior to the connector being fully inserted into the substrate, the connector must be properly positioned in alignment with the openings of the substrate and maintained in position until sufficient force is provided to fully insert the connector on the substrate.

    [0004] Therefore, in order to prevent bending of the contact or other failures of the connector, the connector, with the contacts protruding there from, must be able to be properly positioned and maintained in position prior to insertion.

    [0005] EP 0901158 discloses a connector for mounting on a circuit board. The connector has a housing with contacts extending from a bottom of the housing. A stabilization member also extends from the bottom of the housing and the stabilization member is connected to the housing by portions which are configured to be weak. A force is exerted on the housing to move the housing towards the circuit board so that the weak portions fail. This causes the stabilization member to move from a first position in which the stabilization member extends from the bottom of the housing to a second position in which the stabilization member is contained within a cavity in the housing.

    [0006] DE 10229007, on which the preamble of claim 1 is based, discloses a device for mounting on a circuit board. Guide pins extend from the bottom of a base plate of the device and the guide pins are connected to the base plate by thin webs. When a force is exerted on the device to move the base plate towards the circuit board, the thin webs break so that the guide pins are received in respective cavities in the base plate.

    [0007] The problem to be solved is to provide an electrical connector which can be positioned on a substrate and be maintained in proper and stable position prior to the contacts being fully inserted into the openings of the substrate, even in instances in which only one row of contacts are provided. It would also be beneficial to provide a connector which has stabilization members which can move between a first position in which the stabilization members cooperate with a substrate to maintain the stability of the connector relative to the substrate and a second position in which the stabilization members allow the insertion of the connector onto the substrate.

    [0008] The solution to the problem is provided by a connector for mounting on a substrate, the connector comprising: a housing having a top wall, a bottom wall, side walls extending between the top wall and the bottom wall, and end walls extending between the side walls, and terminal receiving recesses extending through the bottom wall; contacts positioned in the terminal receiving recesses, the contacts having securing sections for securing the contacts in the terminal receiving recesses and substrate mating sections which extend from the bottom wall of the housing in a direction away from the top wall; and at least one stabilization member, the at least one stabilization member extending from the bottom wall of the housing in a direction away from the top wall, the at least one stabilization member being movable between a first position and a second position, the at least one stabilization member engaging the substrate when the at least one stabilization member is in the first position to maintain the connector in a stable position relative to the substrate, wherein the at least one stabilization member is connected to the housing of the connector by portions which are configured to be weak, characterized in that when a force is applied to the at least one stabilization member in a direction toward the top wall, the weak portions are arranged to fail, allowing the at least one stabilization member to be separated and break away from the housing and to move away from the housing.

    [0009] The solution to the problem is also provided by a method of inserting a connector onto a substrate, the method comprising: aligning mating ends of terminals of a connector with openings of the substrate; positioning the connector on the substrate in a first position, wherein tips of the mating ends of the terminal are positioned in the openings and at least one bottom wall of at least one stabilization member is in engagement with the substrate, and the at least one stabilization member is connected to a housing of the connector by portions which are configured to be weak; maintaining the connector in the first position by the cooperation of at least one bottom wall of at least one stabilization member with the substrate; exerting a force on the housing of the connector to move the housing toward the substrate so that the weak portions fail; and moving the at least one stabilization member from a first position in which the at least one stabilization member extends from a bottom wall of the connector to a second position in which the at least one stabilization member is separated and breaks away from the housing of the connector and is moved away from the housing.

    [0010] The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

    FIG. 1 is a bottom perspective view of a first arrangement included for background information only of a connector with movable stabilization members;

    FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of one of the stabilization members of FIG. 1 shown positioned in a first position relative to a substrate;

    FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the stabilization member of FIG. 2 shown positioned in a second position relative to the substrate;

    FIG. 4 is a bottom perspective view of a second arrangement included for background information only of a connector with movable stabilization members;

    FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of one of the stabilization members of FIG. 4 shown positioned in a first position relative to a substrate;

    FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the stabilization member of FIG. 5 shown positioned in a second position relative to the substrate;

    FIG. 7 is a bottom perspective view of a third arrangement included for background information only of a connector with a movable stabilization member;

    FIG. 8 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the stabilization member of FIG. 7 shown positioned in a first position relative to a substrate;

    FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the stabilization member of FIG. 8 shown positioned in a second position relative to the substrate;

    FIG. 10 is a bottom perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of a connector with movable stabilization members according to the present invention;

    FIG. 11 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the connector and one of the stabilization members of FIG. 10 shown positioned in a first position relative to a substrate; and

    FIG. 12 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the connector of FIG. 11 shown positioned in a second position relative to the substrate with the stabilization member disengaged from the connector.



    [0011] The description of the illustrative embodiment according to principles of the present invention is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description. In the description of the embodiment of the invention disclosed herein, any reference to direction or orientation is merely intended for convenience of description and is not intended in any way to limit the scope of the present invention. Relative terms such as "lower," "upper," "horizontal," "vertical," "above," "below," "up," "down," "top" and "bottom" as well as derivative thereof (e.g., "horizontally," "downwardly," "upwardly," etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description only and do not require that the apparatus be constructed or operated in a particular orientation unless explicitly indicated as such. Terms such as "attached," "affixed," "connected," "coupled," "interconnected," and similar refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise. Moreover, the features and benefits of the invention are illustrated by reference to the preferred embodiment. Accordingly, the invention expressly should not be limited to such a preferred embodiment illustrating some possible non-limiting combination of features that may exist alone or in other combinations of features, the scope of the invention being defined by the claims appended hereto.

    [0012] Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 3, a shrouded vertical header connector 10 includes a dielectric housing 12, made of thermoplastic material or other suitable material and a plurality of conductor pins or contacts or terminals 14. Terminals 14 may be made from any suitable conductive materials which have the appropriate electrical and mechanical properties required.

    [0013] The housing 12 has a first or top surface or wall 20, a bottom or second wall 22 opposite the top surface 20, third and fourth or side walls 24, 26 which extend between the top surface 20 and the bottom wall 22 and are opposite each other, and fifth and sixth walls or end walls 28, 30 which extend between the side walls 24, 26 and are opposite each other.

    [0014] In the arrangement shown, the housing 12 has one row of longitudinal terminal receiving recesses 32 which extend through the bottom wall 22 of the housing 12 toward the top surface 20. In the arrangement shown, the top surface 20 of the housing 12 has a mating cavity 34 which extends from the top surface 20 toward the bottom wall 22. The mating cavity 34 is dimensioned to receive an appropriate mating connector therein. However, various numbers of rows and other configurations of the terminal receiving recesses 32 can be used.

    [0015] The housing 12 shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 is shown for illustrative purposes only. Many different housings can be used. In addition, the connector 10 may be oriented horizontally or vertically, as known in the industry.

    [0016] As best shown in FIG. 1, mating portions 40 of the terminals 14 are positioned in the mating cavity 34. In the arrangement shown, mating portions 40 are round and have tapered or pointed ends. However, other types of mating portions 40 can be used. Each terminal 14 has a connector securing section 42 provided proximate the mating portion 40. The connector securing sections 42 maintain the terminals 14 in the terminal receiving recesses 32 of the housing 12. The connector securing sections 42 can be of any type known in the industry, including, but not limited to, projections or barbs.

    [0017] Substrate mating ends 44 of the terminals 14 extend from the connector securing sections 42 and from the housing 12. The mating ends 44 have substrate mating sections or portions 46, which may have, but are not limited to, compliant sections or barbs. The mating ends 44 are dimensioned to cooperate with openings 49 of a mating substrate 48. The opening 49 may be, but not limited to, through holes.

    [0018] The substrate 48 has a predetermined pattern of openings 49 which receive the substrate mating portions 46 when the connector is fully mated to the substrate 48. The substrate 48 may be, but is not limited to, a printed circuit board which has conductors or circuit paths.

    [0019] Stabilization members 50 are provide proximate the bottom wall 22 of the housing 12. As best viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3, the stabilization members 50 have a stabilization member first or top wall 52, a stabilization member second or bottom wall 54 opposite the top wall 52, stabilization member third and fourth or side walls 56 which are opposite each other and which extend between the stabilization member top wall 52 and the stabilization member bottom wall 54. In the initial or first position, as shown in FIG. 2, the respective sidewalls 56 of each stabilization member 50 are integrally molded to walls 58, 60 of a respective mounting member 62 which extends from a side wall 24 and an end wall 28 to form a break or weak portion or area 66. The walls 58, 60 define a stabilization members receiving slot 64. In this initial position, the stabilization members 50 extend from the bottom wall 22 a distance which is less than the distance that the mating ends 44 of the terminals 14 extend from the bottom wall 22.

    [0020] The areas or portions 66 provided between the walls 58, 60 and the side walls 56 are configured to be thin and/or weak. Consequently, an upward force (in a direction to the top surface 20) applied to the stabilization members 50 causes the weak portions 66 to fail or breakaway from the walls 58, 60 and/or the side walls 56. Once the weak portions 66 have failed, the continued application of the force causes the stabilization members 50 to move in the slots 64 from the first position shown in FIG. 2 to the second position shown in FIG. 3.

    [0021] While the weak portions 66 are shown as integrally molded members, the portions 66 may be dimples or other members which are positioned either on the stabilization member 50 or the walls 58, 60. In such arrangements, the members provide a frictional or interference fit between the stabilization member 50 and the walls 58, 60 to retain the stabilization member 50 in the first position.

    [0022] In use, the connector 10 is positioned on the substrate 48 in an initial position (FIG. 2). In this position, the tips of the mating ends 44 of the terminals 14 are positioned in the openings 49 of the substrate 48. However, the mating ends 44 are not fully seated or fully inserted into the openings 49. Consequently, without additional support, the connector 10 would not be stable on the substrate 48 as the assembly process continues. The stabilization members 50 are provided to cooperate with the substrate 48 to stabilize the connector 10 thereon. In the first position, the bottom walls 54 of the stabilization members 50 engage the substrate 48 to stabilize or balance the connector 10 on the substrate. The stabilization members 50 are provided on opposite corners 68, 70 of the connector 10 such that the stabilization members 50 are provided on opposite sides of the terminals 14 to provide proper support. As the stabilization members 50 are integrally molded to the housing 12, the stabilization members 50 remain in the first position until a force is applied thereto.

    [0023] At the appropriate time, a force is applied to the housing 12 of the connector 10 to cause the bottom wall 22 of the housing 12 to move toward the substrate 48. As this occurs, the substrate 48 cause an upward force to be applied to the stabilization members 50, causing the weak portions 66 to fail or breakaway from the stabilization members 50. Once the weak portions 66 has failed, the continued application of the force causes the stabilization members 50 to move in the slots 64, moving the stabilization members 50 from the first position shown in FIG. 2 to the second position shown in FIG. 3.

    [0024] The force applied to the housing 12 is stopped when the mating portions 46, of mating ends 44 are fully seated in the openings 49 of the substrate 48. In this position, the stabilization members 50 are retained in the slots 64.

    [0025] Referring now to FIGS. 4 through 6, a vertical mating connector 110 includes a dielectric housing 112, made of thermoplastic material or other suitable material and a plurality of conductor pins or terminals 114. Terminals 114 may be made from any suitable conductive materials which have the appropriate electrical and mechanical properties required.

    [0026] The housing 112 has top surface 120, a bottom wall 122, side walls 124, 126 which extend between the top surface 120 and the bottom wall 122 and end walls 128, 130 which extend between the side walls 124, 126.

    [0027] In the arrangement shown, the housing 112 has one row of longitudinal terminal receiving recesses 132 which extend through the bottom wall 122 of the housing 112 toward the top surface 120. However, various numbers of rows and other configurations of the terminal receiving recesses 132 can be used.

    [0028] The housing 112 shown in FIGS. 4 through 6 is shown for illustrative purposes only. Many different housings can be used. In addition, the connector 110 may be oriented horizontally or vertically, as known in the industry.

    [0029] As best shown in FIG. 4, each terminal 114 has a connector securing section 142 provided to maintain the terminals 114 in the terminal receiving recesses 132 of the housing 112. The connector securing sections 142 can be of any type known in the industry, including, but not limited to, projections or barbs.

    [0030] Substrate mating ends 144 of the terminals 114 extend from the connector securing sections 142 and from the housing 112. The mating ends 144 have substrate mating sections or portions 146, which may have, but are not limited to, compliant sections or barbs. The mating ends 144 are dimensioned to cooperate with openings 149 of a mating substrate 148. The opening 149 may be, but not limited to, through holes.

    [0031] The substrate 148 has a predetermined pattern of openings 149 which receive the substrate mating portions 146 when the connector is fully mated to the substrate 148. The substrate 148 may be, but is not limited to, a printed circuit board which has conductors or circuit paths.

    [0032] Stabilization members 150 are provide proximate the bottom wall 122 of the housing 112. As best viewed in FIGS. 5 and 6, the stabilization members 150 have a top wall 152, a bottom wall 154, side walls 156 which extend between the top wall 152 and the bottom wall 154. In the initial or first position, as shown in FIG. 5, the respective sidewalls 156 of each stabilization member 150 are integrally molded to walls 158, 160 of a respective mounting member 162 to form a weak portion or area 166. The walls 158, 160 define a stabilization members receiving slot 164. In this initial position, the stabilization members 150 extend from the bottom wall 122 a distance which is less than the distance that the mating ends 144 of the terminals 114 extend from the bottom wall 122.

    [0033] The areas or portions 166 provided between the walls 158, 160 and the side walls 156 are configured to be thin and/or weak. Consequently, an upward force (in a direction to the top surface 120) applied to the stabilization members 150 causes the weak portions 166 to fail or breakaway from the walls 158, 160 and/or the side walls 156. Once the weak portions 166 have failed, the continued application of the force causes the stabilization members 150 to move in the slots 164 from the first position shown in FIG. 5 to the second position shown in FIG. 6.

    [0034] While the weak portions 166 are shown as integrally molded members, the portions 166 may be dimples or other members which are positioned either on the stabilization member 150 or the walls 158, 160. In such arrangements, the members provide a frictional or interference fit between the stabilization member 150 and the walls 158, 160 to retain the stabilization member 150 in the first position.

    [0035] In use, the connector 110 is positioned on the substrate 148 in an initial position (FIG. 5). In this position, the tips of the mating ends 144 of the terminals 114 are positioned in the openings 149 of the substrate 148. However, the mating ends 144 are not fully seated or fully inserted into the openings 149. Consequently, without additional support, the connector 110 would not be stable on the substrate 148 as the assembly process continues. The stabilization members 150 are provided to cooperate with the substrate 148 to stabilize the connector 110 thereon. In the first position, the bottom walls 154 of the stabilization members 150 engage the substrate 148 to stabilize or balance the connector 110 on the substrate. The stabilization members 150 are provided on opposite ends 128, 130 of the connector 110. The stabilization members 150 extend so that portions of the stabilization members 150 are provided on opposite sides of the terminals 114 to provide proper support. As the stabilization members 150 are integrally molded to the housing 112, the stabilization members 150 remain in the first position until a force is applied thereto.

    [0036] At the appropriate time, a force is applied to the housing 112 of the connector 110 to cause the bottom wall 122 of the housing 112 to move toward the substrate 148. As this occurs, the substrate 148 cause an upward force to be applied to the stabilization members 150, causing the weak portions 166 to fail or breakaway from the stabilization members 150. Once the weak portions 166 have failed, the continued application of the force causes the stabilization members 150 to move in the slots 164, moving the stabilization members 150 from the first position shown in FIG. 5 to the second position shown in FIG. 6.

    [0037] The force applied to the housing 112 is stopped when the mating portions 146, of mating ends 144 are fully seated in the openings 149 of the substrate 148. In this position, the stabilization members 150 are retained in the slots 164.

    [0038] Referring now to FIGS. 7 through 9, a shrouded vertical header connector 210 includes a dielectric housing 212, made of thermoplastic material or other suitable material, and a plurality of conductor pins or terminals 214. Terminals 214 may be made from any suitable conductive materials which have the appropriate electrical and mechanical properties required.

    [0039] The housing 212 has top surface 220, a bottom wall 222, side walls 224, 226 which extend between the top surface 220 and the bottom wall 222 and end walls 228, 230 which extend between the side walls 224, 226.

    [0040] In the arrangement shown, the housing 212 has one row of longitudinal terminal receiving recesses 232 which extend through the bottom wall 222 of the housing 212 toward the top surface 220. In the arrangement shown, the top surface 220 of the housing 212 has a mating cavity 234 which extends from the top surface 220 toward the bottom wall 222. The mating cavity 234 is dimensioned to receive an appropriate mating connector therein. However, various numbers of rows and other configurations of the terminal receiving recesses 232 can be used.

    [0041] The housing 212 shown in FIGS. 7 through 9 is shown for illustrative purposes only. Many different housings can be used. In addition, the connector 210 may be oriented horizontally or vertically, as known in the industry.

    [0042] As best shown in FIG. 7, mating portions 240 of the terminals 214 are positioned in the mating cavity 234. In the arrangement shown, mating portions 240 are round and have tapered or pointed ends. However, other types of mating portions 240 can be used. Each terminal 214 has a connector securing section 242 provided proximate the mating portion 240. The connector securing sections 242 maintain the terminals 214 in the terminal receiving recesses 232 of the housing 212. The connector securing sections 242 can be of any type known in the industry, including, but not limited to, projections or barbs.

    [0043] Substrate mating ends 244 of the terminals 214 extend from the connector securing sections 242 and from the housing 212. The mating ends 244 have substrate mating sections or portions 246, which may have, but are not limited to, compliant sections or barbs. The mating ends 244 are dimensioned to cooperate with openings 249 of a mating substrate 248. The opening 249 may be, but not limited to, through holes.

    [0044] The substrate 248 has a predetermined pattern of openings 249 which receive the substrate mating portions 246 when the connector is fully mated to the substrate 248. The substrate 248 may be, but is not limited to, a printed circuit board which has conductors or circuit paths.

    [0045] A stabilization member 250 is provide proximate the bottom wall 222 of the housing 212. As best viewed in FIGS. 8 and 9, the stabilization member 250 has a top wall 252, a bottom wall 254 and side walls 256 which extend between the top wall 252 and the bottom wall 254. In the initial or first position, as shown in FIG. 8, the respective sidewalls 256 of the stabilization member 250 are integrally molded to walls 258, 260 of a respective mounting member 262 to form a weak portion or area 266. The walls 258, 260 define a stabilization member receiving slot 264. In this initial position, the stabilization member 250 extends from the bottom wall 222 a distance which is less than the distance that the mating ends 244 of the terminals 214 extend from the bottom wall 222.

    [0046] The areas or portions 266 provided between the walls 258, 260 and the side walls 256 are configured to be thin and/or weak. Consequently, an upward force (in a direction to the top surface 220) applied to the stabilization member 250 causes the weak portions 266 to fail or breakaway from the walls 258, 260 and/or the side walls 256. Once the weak portions 266 have failed, the continued application of the force causes the stabilization member 250 to move in the slot 264 from the first position shown in FIG. 8 to the second position shown in FIG. 9.

    [0047] While the weak portions 266 are shown as integrally molded members, the portions 266 may be dimples or other members which are positioned either on the stabilization member 250 or the walls 258, 260. In such arrangements, the members provide a frictional or interference fit between the stabilization member 250 and the walls 258, 260 to retain the stabilization member 250 in the first position.

    [0048] In use, the connector 210 is positioned on the substrate 248 in an initial position (FIG. 8). In this position, the tips of the mating ends 244 of the terminals 214 are positioned in the openings 249 of the substrate 248. However, the mating ends 244 are not fully seated or fully inserted into the openings 249. Consequently, without additional support, the connector 210 would not be stable on the substrate 248 as the assembly process continues. The stabilization members 250 are provided to cooperate with the substrate 248 to stabilize the connector 210 thereon. In the first position, the bottom walls 254 of the stabilization members 250 engage the substrate 248 to stabilize or balance the connector 210 on the substrate. In the arrangement shown in FIG. 8, the stabilization member 250 is provided proximate the center of the connector 210. As the stabilization member 250 is integrally molded to the housing 212, the stabilization member 250 remains in the first position until a force is applied thereto.

    [0049] At the appropriate time, a force is applied to the housing 212 of the connector 210 to cause the bottom wall 222 of the housing 212 to move toward the substrate 248. As this occurs, the substrate 248 causes an upward force to be applied to the stabilization member 250, causing the weak portions 266 to fail or breakaway from the stabilization member 250. Once the weak portions 266 have failed, the continued application of the force causes the stabilization member 250 to move in the slot 264, moving the stabilization member 250 from the first position shown in FIG. 8 to the second position shown in FIG. 9.

    [0050] The force applied to the housing 212 is stopped when the mating portions 246 of mating ends 244 are fully seated in the openings 249 of the substrate 248. In this position, the stabilization member 250 is retained in the slot 264.

    [0051] In any of the arrangements described above, if the connector 10, 110, 210 is removed from the substrate 48, 148, 248, the stabilization members 50, 150, 250 are configured to be retained in the slots 64, 164, 264. The top walls 52, 152, 252 of the stabilization members 50, 150, 250 may have flanges 72, 172, 272 which prevent the stabilization members 50, 150, 250 from being fully removed from the slots 64, 164, 264. Other alternative methods of retaining the stabilization members 50, 150, 250 in the slots 64, 164, 264 may be used.

    [0052] Referring now to FIGS. 10 through 12, a vertical mating connector 310 includes a dielectric housing 312, made of thermoplastic material or other suitable material, and a plurality of conductor pins or terminals 314. Terminals 314 may be made from any suitable conductive materials which have the appropriate electrical and mechanical properties required.

    [0053] The housing 312 has top surface 320, a bottom wall 322, side walls 324, 326 which extend between the top surface 320 and the bottom wall 322 and end walls 328, 330 which extend between the side walls 324, 326.

    [0054] In the embodiment shown, the housing 312 has one row of longitudinal terminal receiving recesses 332 which extend through the bottom wall 322 of the housing 312 toward the top surface 320. However, various numbers of rows and other configurations of the terminal receiving recesses 332 can be used without departing from the scope of the invention.

    [0055] The housing 312 shown in FIGS. 10 through 12 is shown for illustrative purposes only. Many different housings can be used without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, the connector 310 may be oriented horizontally or vertically, as known in the industry.

    [0056] As best shown in FIG. 10, each terminal 314 has a connector securing section 342 provided to maintain the terminals 314 in the terminal receiving recesses 332 of the housing 312. The connector securing sections 342 can be of any type known in the industry, including, but not limited to, projections or barbs.

    [0057] Substrate mating ends 344 of the terminals 314 extend from the connector securing sections 342 and from the housing 312. The mating ends 344 have substrate mating sections or portions 346, which may have, but are not limited to, compliant sections or barbs. The mating ends 344 are dimensioned to cooperate with openings 349 of a mating substrate 348. The opening 349 may be, but not limited to, through holes.

    [0058] The substrate 348 has a predetermined pattern of openings 349 which receive the substrate mating portions 346 when the connector is fully mated to the substrate 348. The substrate 348 may be, but is not limited to, a printed circuit board which has conductors or circuit paths.

    [0059] Stabilization members 350 are provide proximate the bottom wall 322 of the housing 312. As best viewed in FIGS. 11 and 12, the stabilization members 350 have a top wall 352, a bottom wall 354, a circular side wall 356 which extends between the top wall 352 and the bottom wall 354. In the initial or first position, as shown in FIG. 11, the sidewall 356 of each stabilization member 350 are integrally molded to a side wall 324, 326, an end wall 328, 330 or both. In this initial position, the stabilization members 350 extend from the bottom wall 322 a distance which is less than the distance that the mating ends 344 of the terminals 314 extend from the bottom wall 322.

    [0060] The areas or portions 366 provided between the side walls 324, 326 or end walls 328, 330 and the side walls 356 are configured to be thin and/or weak. Consequently, an upward force (in a direction to the top surface 320) applied to the stabilization members 350 causes the weak portions 366 to fail or breakaway from the stabilization members 350. Once the weak portions 366 have failed, the continued application of the force causes the stabilization members 350 to move from the first position shown in FIG. 11, to the second position in which the stabilization members 350 are no longer attached to the housing 312, as shown in FIG. 12.

    [0061] In use, the connector 310 is positioned on the substrate 348 in an initial position (FIG. 11). In this position, the tips of the mating ends 344 of the terminals 314 are positioned in the openings 349 of the substrate 348. However, the mating ends 344 are not fully seated or fully inserted into the openings 349. Consequently, without additional support, the connector 310 would not be stable on the substrate 348 as the assembly process continues. The stabilization members 350 are provided to cooperate with the substrate 348 to stabilize the connector 310 thereon. In the first position, the bottom walls 354 of the stabilization members 350 engage the substrate 348 to stabilize or balance the connector 310 on the substrate. The stabilization members 350 are provided on opposite ends of side walls 324, 326 of the connector 310. The stabilization members 350 extend so that portions of the stabilization members 350 are provided on opposite sides of the terminals 314 to provide proper support. As the stabilization members 350 are integrally molded to the housing 312, the stabilization members 350 remain in the first position until a force is applied thereto.

    [0062] At the appropriate time, a force is applied to the housing 312 of the connector 310 to cause the bottom wall 322 of the housing 312 to move toward the substrate 348. As this occurs, the substrate 348 causes an upward force to be applied to the stabilization members 350, causing the weak portions 366 to fail or breakaway from the stabilization members 350. Once the weak portions 366 have failed, the continued application of the force causes the stabilization members 350 to move away from the housing 312, moving the stabilization members 350 from the first position shown in FIG. 11, to the second position shown in FIG. 12.

    [0063] The force applied to the housing 312 is stopped when the mating portions 346 of mating ends 344 are fully seated in the openings 349 of the substrate 348.


    Claims

    1. A connector (310) for mounting on a substrate (348), the connector (310) comprising:

    a housing (312) having a top wall (320), a bottom wall (322), side walls (324, 326) extending between the top wall (320) and the bottom wall (322), and end walls (328, 330) extending between the side walls (324, 326), and terminal receiving recesses (332) extending through the bottom wall (322);

    contacts (314) positioned in the terminal receiving recesses (332), the contacts (314) having securing sections (342) for securing the contacts (314) in the terminal receiving recesses (332) and substrate mating sections (346) which extend from the bottom wall (322) of the housing (312) in a direction away from the top wall (320); and

    at least one stabilization member (350), the at least one stabilization member (350) extending from the bottom wall (322) of the housing (312) in a direction away from the top wall (320), the at least one stabilization member (350) being movable between a first position and a second position, the at least one stabilization member (350) engaging the substrate (348) when the at least one stabilization member (350) is in the first position to maintain the connector (310) in a stable position relative to the substrate (348), wherein the at least one stabilization member (350) is connected to the housing (312) of the connector (310) by portions (366) which are configured to be weak,

    characterized in that

    when a force is applied to the at least one stabilization member (350) in a direction toward the top wall (320), the weak portions (366) are arranged to fail, allowing the at least one stabilization member (350) to be separated and broken away from the housing (312) and to move away from the housing (312).


     
    2. The connector (310) as recited in claim 1, wherein the at least one stabilization member (350) extends from the bottom wall (322) of the housing (312) a distance which is less than the distance that mating ends (344) of the contacts (314) extend from the bottom wall (322) of the housing (312).
     
    3. The connector (310) as recited in claim 1 or 2, wherein the at least one stabilization member (350) includes two stabilization members (350) which are positioned on opposite corners of the housing (312) of the connector (310), wherein the stabilization members (350) are provided on opposite sides of the contacts (314) to provide proper support.
     
    4. The connector (310) as recited in claim 1 or 2, wherein the at least one stabilization member (350) includes two stabilization members (350) which are positioned on opposite ends (328, 330) of the housing (312) of connector (310), the stabilization members (350) extending so that portions of the stabilization members (350) are provided on opposite sides of the contacts (314) to provide proper support.
     
    5. A method of inserting a connector (310) onto a substrate (348), the method comprising:

    aligning mating ends (344) of terminals (314) of a connector (310) with openings (349) of the substrate (348);

    positioning the connector (310) on the substrate (348) in a first position, wherein tips of the mating ends (344) of the terminal (314) are positioned in the openings (349) and at least one bottom wall (354) of at least one stabilization member (350) is in engagement with the substrate (348), and the at least one stabilization member (350) is connected to a housing (312) of the connector (310) by portions (366) which are configured to be weak;

    maintaining the connector (310) in the first position by the cooperation of at least one bottom wall (354) of at least one stabilization member (350) with the substrate (348);

    exerting a force on the housing (312) of the connector (310) to move the housing (312) toward the substrate (348) so that the weak portions (366) fail; and

    moving the at least one stabilization member (350) from a first position in which the at least one stabilization member (350) extends from a bottom wall (322) of the connector (310) to a second position in which the at least one stabilization member (350) is separated and breaks away from the housing (312) of the connector (310) and is moved away from the housing (312).


     
    6. The method as recited in claim 5, wherein the at least one stabilization member (350) includes two stabilization members (350) which are positioned on opposite corners of the housing (312) of the connector (310), wherein the stabilization members (350) are provided on opposite sides of the terminals (314) to provide proper support.
     
    7. The method as recited in claim 5, wherein the at least one stabilization member (350) includes two stabilization members (350) which are positioned on opposite ends of the housing (312) of the connector (310), the stabilization members (350) extending so that portions of the stabilization members (350) are provided on opposite sides of the terminals (314) to provide proper support.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verbinder (310) zum Montieren auf einem Substrat (348), wobei der Verbinder (310) Folgendes umfasst:

    ein Gehäuse (312) mit einer Deckenwand (320), einer Bodenwand (322), Seitenwänden (324, 326), die sich zwischen der Deckenwand (320) und der Bodenwand (322) erstrecken, und Endwänden (328, 330), die sich zwischen den Seitenwänden (324, 326) erstrecken, und Klemmenaufnahmeaussparungen (332), die sich durch die Bodenwand (322) erstrecken;

    Kontakte (314), die in den Klemmenaufnahmeaussparungen (332) positioniert sind, wobei die Kontakte (314) Sicherungssektionen (342) zum Sichern der Kontakte (314) in den Klemmenaufnahmeaussparungen (322) und Substratstecksektionen (346) haben, die sich von der Bodenwand (322) des Gehäuses (312) in einer Richtung weg von der Deckenwand (320) erstrecken; und

    wenigstens ein Stabilisierungselement (350), wobei sich das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) von der Bodenwand (322) des Gehäuses (312) in einer Richtung weg von der Deckenwand (320) erstreckt, wobei das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) zwischen einer ersten Position und einer zweiten Position beweglich ist, wobei das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) in das Substrat (348) eingreift, wenn das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) in der ersten Position ist, um den Verbinder (310) in einer stabilen Position relativ zum Substrat (348) zu halten, wobei das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) mit dem Gehäuse (312) des Verbinders (310) durch Abschnitte (366) verbunden ist, die so konfiguriert sind, dass sie schwach sind,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass,

    die schwachen Abschnitte (366) so ausgelegt sind, dass sie versagen, wenn eine Kraft auf das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) in einer Richtung zur Deckenwand (320) hin aufgebracht wird, so dass das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) vom Gehäuse (312) getrennt und abgebrochen wird und sich vom Gehäuse (312) weg bewegt.


     
    2. Verbinder (310) nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) von der Bodenwand (322) des Gehäuses (312) um eine Distanz erstreckt, die geringer ist als eine Distanz, um die sich Steckenden (344) der Kontakte (314) von der Bodenwand (322) des Gehäuses (312) erstrecken.
     
    3. Verbinder (310) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) zwei Stabilisierungselemente (350) beinhaltet, die an gegenüberliegenden Ecken des Gehäuses (312) des Verbinders (310) positioniert sind, wobei die Stabilisierungselemente (350) auf gegenüberliegenden Seiten der Kontakte (314) vorgesehen sind, um angemessene Abstützung zu geben.
     
    4. Verbinder (310) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) zwei Stabilisierungselemente (350) beinhaltet, die an gegenüberliegenden Enden (328, 330) des Gehäuses (312) des Verbinders (310) positioniert sind, wobei sich die Stabilisierungselemente (350) so erstrecken, dass Abschnitte der Stabilisierungselemente (350) auf gegenüberliegenden Seiten der Kontakte (314) bereitgestellt werden, um angemessene Abstützung zu geben.
     
    5. Verfahren zum Einsetzen eines Verbinders (310) auf ein Substrat (348), wobei das Verfahren Folgendes beinhaltet:

    Ausrichten von Steckenden (344) von Klemmen (314) eines Verbinders (310) mit Öffnungen (349) des Substrats (348);

    Positionieren des Verbinders (310) auf dem Substrat (348) in einer ersten Position, wobei Spitzen der Steckenden (344) der Klemme (314) in den Öffnungen (349) positioniert sind und wenigstens eine Bodenwand (354) wenigstens eines Stabilisierungselements (350) mit dem Substrat (348) in Eingriff ist und das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) mit einem Gehäuse (312) des Verbinders (310) durch Abschnitte (366) verbunden ist, die so konfiguriert sind, dass sie schwach sind;

    Halten des Verbinders (310) in der ersten Position durch die Zusammenwirkung von wenigstens einer Bodenwand (354) von wenigstens einem Stabilisierungselement (350) mit dem Substrat (348);

    Ausüben einer Kraft auf das Gehäuse (312) des Verbinders (310), um das Gehäuse (312) in Richtung des Substrats (348) zu bewegen, so dass die schwachen Abschnitte (366) versagen; und

    Bewegen des wenigstens einen Stabilisierungselements (350) von einer ersten Position, in der sich das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) von einer Bodenwand (322) des Verbinders (310) erstreckt, in eine zweite Position, in der das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) vom Gehäuse (312) des Verbinders (310) getrennt und abgebrochen ist und sich vom Gehäuse (312) weg bewegt.


     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) zwei Stabilisierungselemente (350) beinhaltet, die an gegenüberliegenden Ecken des Gehäuses (312) des Verbinders (310) positioniert sind, wobei die Stabilisierungselemente (350) auf gegenüberliegenden Seiten der Klemmen (314) vorgesehen sind, um angemessene Abstützung zu bieten.
     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei das wenigstens eine Stabilisierungselement (350) zwei Stabilisierungselemente (350) beinhaltet, die an gegenüberliegenden Enden des Gehäuses (312) des Verbinders (310) positioniert sind, wobei sich die Stabilisierungselemente (350) so erstrecken, dass Abschnitte der Stabilisierungselemente (350) auf gegenüberliegenden Seiten der Klemmen (314) vorgesehen sind, um angemessene Abstützung zu geben.
     


    Revendications

    1. Connecteur (310) pour un montage sur un substrat (348), le connecteur (310) comprenant :

    un logement (312) ayant une paroi supérieure (320), une paroi inférieure (322), des parois latérales (324, 326) s'étendant entre la paroi supérieure (320) et la paroi inférieure (322), et des parois d'extrémité (328, 330) s'étendant entre les parois latérales (324, 326), et des évidements de réception de cosses (332) s'étendant à travers la paroi inférieure (322) ;

    des contacts (314) positionnés dans les évidements de réception de cosses (332), les contacts (314) ayant des sections de fixation (342) pour fixer les contacts (314) dans les évidements de réception de cosses (332) et des sections d'accouplement au substrat (346) qui s'étendent à partir de la paroi inférieure (322) du logement (312) dans un sens à l'opposé de la paroi supérieure (320) ; et

    au moins un élément de stabilisation (350), l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) s'étendant à partir de la paroi inférieure (322) du logement (312) dans un sens à l'opposé de la paroi supérieure (320), l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) étant mobile entre une première position et une deuxième position, l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) se mettant en prise avec le substrat (348) lorsque l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) est dans la première position afin de maintenir le connecteur (310) dans une position stable relativement au substrat (348), l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) étant connecté au logement (312) du connecteur (310) par des portions (366) qui sont configurées pour être faibles,

    caractérisé en ce que

    lorsqu'une force est appliquée à l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) dans un sens vers la paroi supérieure (320), les portions faibles (366) sont agencées de façon à casser, ce qui permet à l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) d'être séparé et détaché par rapport au logement (312) et de s'éloigner du logement (312).


     
    2. Connecteur (310) tel qu'énoncé dans la revendication 1, dans lequel l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) s'étend à partir de la paroi inférieure (322) du logement (312) sur une distance qui est moindre que la distance sur laquelle des extrémités d'accouplement (344) des contacts (314) s'étendent à partir de la paroi inférieure (322) du logement (312).
     
    3. Connecteur (310) tel qu'énoncé dans la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) inclut deux éléments de stabilisation (350) qui sont positionnés sur des coins opposés du logement (312) du connecteur (310), dans lequel les éléments de stabilisation (350) sont prévus sur des côtés opposés des contacts (314) afin de procurer un soutien approprié.
     
    4. Connecteur (310) tel qu'énoncé dans la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) inclut deux éléments de stabilisation (350) qui sont positionnés sur des extrémités opposées (328, 330) du logement (312) du connecteur (310), les éléments de stabilisation (350) s'étendant de sorte que des portions des éléments de stabilisation (350) sont prévues sur des côtés opposés des contacts (314) afin de procurer un soutien approprié.
     
    5. Procédé d'insertion d'un connecteur (310) sur un substrat (348), le procédé comprenant :

    le fait d'aligner des extrémités d'accouplement (344) de cosses (314) d'un connecteur (310) avec des ouvertures (349) du substrat (348) ;

    le fait de positionner le connecteur (310) sur le substrat (348) dans une première position, où des pointes des extrémités d'accouplement (344) de la cosse (314) sont positionnées dans les ouvertures (349) et au moins une paroi inférieure (354) d'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) est en prise avec le substrat (348), et l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) est connecté à un logement (312) du connecteur (310) par des portions (366) qui sont configurées pour être faibles ;

    le fait de maintenir le connecteur (310) dans la première position grâce à la coopération d'au moins une paroi inférieure (354) d'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) avec le substrat (348) ;

    le fait d'exercer une force sur le logement (312) du connecteur (310) afin de déplacer le logement (312) vers le substrat (348) de sorte que les portions faibles (366) cassent ; et

    le fait de déplacer l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) à partir d'une première position dans laquelle l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) s'étend à partir d'une paroi inférieure (322) du connecteur (310) jusqu'à une deuxième position dans laquelle l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) est séparé et se détache du logement (312) du connecteur (310) et est éloigné du logement (312).


     
    6. Procédé tel qu'énoncé dans la revendication 5, dans lequel l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) inclut deux éléments de stabilisation (350) qui sont positionnés sur des coins opposés du logement (312) du connecteur (310), les éléments de stabilisation (350) étant prévus sur des côtés opposés des cosses (314) afin de procurer un soutien approprié.
     
    7. Procédé tel qu'énoncé dans la revendication 5, dans lequel l'au moins un élément de stabilisation (350) inclut deux éléments de stabilisation (350) qui sont positionnés sur des extrémités opposées du logement (312) du connecteur (310), les éléments de stabilisation (350) s'étendant de sorte que des portions des éléments de stabilisation (350) sont prévues sur des côtés opposés des cosses (314) afin de procurer un soutien approprié.
     




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    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