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1. WO1979001118 - ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR AND METHOD OF FABRICATING A WIRE HARNESS USING THE CONNECTOR

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]
Claims

1. An electrical connector for mechanically joining a plurality of wires to a plurality of other electrical components and for providing low resistance electrical paths between predetermined ones of said plurality of wires and preselected ones of said plurality of other electrical components, said connector comprising:
an insulative housing having a front wall, a back wall and a plurality of spaced barrier walls extending between the aforementioned walls to define an array of cavities extending through said housing; and
a plurality of metallic terminal elements each having a wire terminating portion and a portion for contacting another electrical component with one terminal element preloaded into each of said cavities, said wire terminating portion having an open-ended elongate wire-receiving slot of a width less than the diameter of the conductor in the wire to be terminated in the wire terminating portion so that in response to the insertion of the wire laterally of its axis into the slot the insulation of the wire is removed, said wire terminating portion further having an entrance adjoining said slot of greater width than said slot to guide the wire into the slot, characterized by the fact that at least one of said housing and terminal elements comprise holding means for firmly mechanically holding each of said wires in alignment with the entrance to the slot corresponding to that wire prior to insertion of the wire into the slot, said holding means comprising first means for engaging said wires on the side of said terminal elements remote from said back wall and further comprising second means for engaging said wires on the side of said terminal elements remote from said front wall, whereby after positioning of the wires in the holding means and prior to insertion of the wires into the slots, the connector can be physically moved without dissociation of the wires from their corresponding slots.
2. A connector as set forth in Claim 1 wherein at least one of said barrier walls and said front wall defines a series of first openings on the side of said terminal elements remote from said back wall and further wherein at least one of said barrier walls and said back wall defines a series of second openings on the side of said terminal elements remote from said front wall, ones of said first openings and ones of said second openings forming pairs of openings with each pair of openings adjoining one of said cavities for receiving a wire moved laterally of its axial direction into the cavity, each pair of openings being in general alignment with the wire-receiving slot of the terminal element disposed in the cavity adjoining a particular pair of openings, said housing comprising at least one first ear extending into each of said series of first openings to define a constricted throat for each first opening, said constricted throat having a width less than the diameter of the wire to be received whereby a wire moved into the opening beneath the level of the ear is retained in the opening, said first means for engaging said wires comprising said first opening ears.
3. A connector as set forth in Claim 2 wherein said wire terminating portion comprises a support surface defining said entrance to said slot for supporting said wire prior to its insertion into said slot, said first opening ear comprising an abutment surface for engaging a wire inserted in a first opening past said constricted throat said abutment surface being positioned relative to said support surface so that a wire portion engaged by said support surface is disposed above a wire portion engaged by said abutment surface, said holding means comprising said support surface and said abutment surface whereby due to the resiliency of the wire, the wire is concurrently held in compressive engagement adjacent its bottom by said support surface and adjacent its top by said abutment surface prior to electrical termination of the wire in the wire-receiving slot.
4. A connector as set forth in Claim 3 wherein said housing comprises at least one second ear extending into each of said series of second openings to define a constricted throat for each second opening, said second means for engaging said wires comprising said second ears.
5. A connector as set forth in Claim 4 wherein said housing comprises a pair of first ears defining each first opening constricted throat and a pair of second ears defining each second opening constricted throat.
6. A connector as set forth in Claim 3 wherein said housing comprises at least one second ear extending into each of said series of second openings to define a constricted throat for each second opening, said abutment surface of said first ear being a first abutment surface and said second ear having a second abutment surface for engaging a wire disposed in said second opening, said second abutment surface being disposed above the level of said first abutment surface and a wire engaging said first and second abutment surfaces and said support surface being bowed, said first abutment surface being engageable with said wire after it has been terminated in said slot to provide strain relief.

7. A connector as set forth in Claim 3 wherein said housing comprises at least one second ear extending into each of said series of second openings to define a constricted throat for each second opening, said abut-ment surface of said first ear being a first abutment surface and said second ear having a second abutment surface for engaging a wire disposed in said second opening, said first and second abutment surfaces being disposed at substantially the same level relative to the position of said support surface and a wire engaging said first and second abutment surfaces and said support surface being bowed, said first and second abutment surfaces being engageable with said wire after it has been terminated in said slot to provide strain relief.
8. A connector as set forth in Claim 2 wherein said ear is an upper ear and said constricted throat is an upper constricted throat/ said housing further comprising at least one lower ear extending into each of said first openings to define a lower constricted throat for each first opening, the spacing between corresponding upper and lower ears being insufficient for a wire to completely pass said upper ear without engaging said lower ear, a wire concurrently engaging an upper ear and a corresponding lower ear being compressively held therebetween.

AMENDED CLAIMS
(received by the International Bureau on 6 November 1979 (06.11.79))

1. An electrical connector for mechanically
joining a plurality of wires to a plurality of other electrical components and for providing low resistance electrical paths between predetermined ones of said
plurality of wires and preselected ones of said plurality of other electrical components, said connector comprising:
an insulative housing having a front wall, a back wall and a plurality of spaced barrier walls extending between the aforementioned walls to define an array of cavities extending through said housing; and
a plurality of metallic terminal elements each having a wire terminating portion and a portion for contacting another electrical component with one terminal element preloaded into each of said cavities, said wire terminating portion having an open-ended elongate wire-receiving slot of a width less than the diameter of the conductor in the wire to be terminated in the wire terminating portion so that in response to the insertion of the wire laterally of its axis into the slot the insulation of the wire is removed, said wire terminating portion further having an entrance adjoining said slot of greater width than said slot to guide the wire into the slot, characterized by the fact that at least one of said housing and plurality of terminal elements comprise holding means for firmly mechanically holding each of said wires in alignment with the entrance to the slot corresponding to that wire prior to insertion of the wire into the slot, said holding means being adapted to hold said wires bent from their as-manufactured axial direction and comprising first means for engaging said wires on

tfN Tlθ the side of said terminal elements remote from said back wall, further comprising second means for engaging said wires on the side of said terminal elements remote from said front wall, and further comprising third means for engaging said wire between said first and second wire engaging means, whereby after positioning of the wires in the holding means and prior to insertion of the wires into the slots, the connector can be physically moved without dissociation of the wires from their corresponding slots.
2. A connector as set forth in Claim 1 wherein at least one of said barrier walls and said front wall defines a series of first openings on the side of said terminal elements remote from said back wall and further wherein at least one of said barrier walls and said back wall defines a series of second openings on the side of said terminal elements remote from said front wall, ones of said first openings and ones of said second openings forming pairs of openings with each pair of openings adjoining one of said cavities for receiving a wire moved laterally of its axial direction into the cavity, each pair of openings being in general alignment with the wire-receiving slot of the terminal element disposed in the cavity adjoining a particular pair of openings, said housing comprising at least one first ear extending into each of said series of first openings to define a constricted throat for each first opening, said constricted throat having a width less than the diameter of the wire to be received whereby a wire moved into the opening beneath the level of the ear is retained in the opening, said first means for engaging said wires comprising said first ears.

3. A connector as set forth in Claim 2 wherein said wire terminating portion comprises a support surface defining said entrance to said slot for supporting said wire prior to its insertion into said slot, said first opening ear comprising an abutment surface for engaging a wire inserted in a first opening past said constricted throat, said abutment surface being positioned relative to said support surface so that a wire portion engaged by said support surface is disposed above a wire portion engaged by said abutment surface, said holding means comprising said support surface and said abutment surface whereby due to the resiliency of the wire, the wire is concurrently held in compressive engagement adjacent its bottom by said support surface and adjacent its top by said abutment surface prior to electrical termination of the wire in the wire-receiving slot, said third engaging means comprising said support surface.
4. A connector as set forth in Claim 3 wherein said housing comprises at least one second ear extending into each of said series of second openings to define a constricted throat for each second opening, said second means for engaging said wires comprising said second ears.
5. A connector as set forth in Claim 4 wherein said housing comprises a pair of first ears defining said constricted throat for each first opening and a pair of second ears defining said constricted throat for each second opening.

6. A connector as set forth in Claim 3 wherein said housing comprises at least one second ear extending into each of said series of second openings to define a constricted throat for each second opening, said abutment surface of said first ear being a first abutment surface and said second ear having a second abutment surface for engaging a wire disposed in said second opening, said second abutment surface being disposed above the level of said first abutment surface, whereby a wire engaging said first and second abutment surfaces and said support surface is bowed, said first abutment surface being engageable with said wire after it has been terminated in said slot to provide strain relief.
7. A connector as set forth in Claim 3 wherein said housing comprises at least one second ear extending into each of said series of second openings to define a constricted throat for each second opening, said abutment surface of said first ear being a first abutment surface and said second ear having a second abutment surface for engaging a wire disposed in said second opening, said first and second abutment surfaces being disposed at substantially the same level relative to the position of said support surface, whereby a wire engaging said first and second abutment surfaces and said support surface is bowed, said first and second abutment surfaces being engageable with said wire after it has been terminated in said slot to provide strain relief.
8. An electrical connector for mechanically joining a plurality of wires to a plurality of other electrical components and for providing low resistance electrical paths between predetermined ones of said plurality of wires and preselected ones of said plurality of other electrical components, said connector comprising :
an insulative housing having a front wall, a back wall and a plurality of spaced barrier walls extending between the aforementioned walls to define an array of cavities extending through said housing; and
a pluarlity of metallic terminal elements each having a wire terminating portion and a portion for contacting another electrical component with one terminal element preloaded into each of said cavities, said wire terminating portion having an open-ended elongate wire-receiving slot of a width less than the diameter of the conductor in the wire to be terminated in the wire terminating portion so that in response to the insertion of the wire laterally of its axis into the slot the insulation of the wire is removed, said wire terminating portion further having an entrance adjoining said slot of greater width than said slot to guide the wire into the slot, characterized by the fact that said housing comprises holding means for firmly mechanically holding each of said wires in alignment with the entrance to the slot corresponding to that wire prior to insertion of the wire into the slot, at least one of said barrier walls and said front wall defining a series of first openings on the side of said terminal elements remote from said back wall with each of said openings adjoining one of said cavities for receiving a wire moved laterally of its axial direction into the cavity, said housing comprising at least one upper ear extending into each of said first openings to define an upper constricted throat for each first opening, said housing further comprising at least one lower ear extending into each of said first openings to define a lower constricted throat for each first opening, the spacing between corresponding upper and lower ears being insufficient for a wire to completely pass said upper ear without engaging said lower ear, a wire concurrently engaging an upper ear and a corresponding lower ear being firmly compressively held therebetween, the aforementioned constricted throats having a width less than the diameter of the wire to be received, said holding means comprising said upper and lower ears, whereby after positioning of the wires in the holding means and prior to insertion of the wires in the slots, the connector can be physically moved without dissociation of the wires from their corresponding slots.

OMPI STATEMENT UNDER ARTICLE 19

Claims 1-8 have been amended to be patentable over U. S. Patent No. 3,778,750 which is the only document listed in the International Search Report of
September 17, 1979. Claim 1 now requires the connector to include holding means to hold the wires bent and that the holding means engages the wire at three points as shown in Figs. 20 and 24. Claim 8 presently requires tft* connector housing to include an upper ear and a lower ear to compressively hold a wire disposed between the ears as shown in Fig. 7. These features permit a wire harness including the connectors of the present invention to be completed at a first station except for termination of the wires in the metallic terminal elements, and for the harness to be moved to a second station where the wires are terminated. Thus a plurality of fabrication stations can feed partially completed harnesses to a single termination station having a single set of termination equipment.
Please note that in the prosecution of U. S.
Patent Application Serial No. 909,732, filed May 25, 1978 (the priority document) , Claims 3 and 26 were presented for examination. Claims 1 and 8, respectively, of the present application include all the features of Claims 3 and 26 of the U. S. application. The
Examiner of the U. S. application found that Claims 3 and 26 were patentable over U. S. Patent No. 3,778,750.